Russian pranksters claim they prank-called Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders pretending to be Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov told the Associated Press that their stunt was one of many in their comedy project “Stars Save the Earth,” in which they call politicians and high-profile celebrities pretending to be Thunberg. In the recording of the phone call, which the duo posted on YouTube on Thursday although the call itself took place in December, an unnamed female pretends to be Thunberg, and Stolyarov pretends to be her father. A Sanders campaign representative didn’t comment Friday on the authenticity of the call, according to AP.
AP: Bernie Sanders pranked by Russians posing as Greta Thunberg
Adam Schiff also fell for these guys’ act.https://t.co/KnQjZ9GIzw
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) February 14, 2020
They offer to give the man who identified himself as Sanders in the call Thunberg’s support for the presidential campaign, and Sanders welcomes it, suggesting Thunberg make a public statement of her support. “Let us continue to talk and when you come to the United States I will bring some people together and we can do some interesting things, and if you wanted to make a statement in support of my candidacy and the program we have outlined for climate change, I would be very very appreciative,” Sanders said. (RELATED: Exclusive: Inside The Media Conspiracy To Hype Greta Thunberg)
The fake Thunberg then proposes that she record a song expressing the support for Sanders’ campaign with Billie Eilish and Kanye West, and Sanders says that would be “terrific.”
She says she’s soon going to Russia and asks for Sanders advice for her visit.
“Russia and (President Vladimir) Putin has been very bad, as far as I know, on climate change. They have a lot of oil, oil is important for their economy, they make a lot of money on oil,” Sanders explains.
After that, the fake Thunberg tells Sanders that he was recruited by the KGB in 1988 when he visited Russia and has since been a “sleeper agent.” Sanders then hangs up.
“Many laugh at Bernie Sanders [and say] that he is a KGB agent and wants to build communism in the U.S. Since he calls himself a democratic socialist, we decided to play up this topic — the topic of Sanders being a recruited Russian agent,” Kuznetsov told the Associated Press.
Kuznetsov said they didn’t expect any repercussions for their prank. Federal law enforcement officials were alerted in November that multiple Democrats had received calls originating internationally from someone claiming to represent Thunberg, AP reports.