Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was tricked into talking about Donald Trump with a pair of Russian pranksters. The South Carolina politician thought he was on a call with Turkey’s minister of defense, but he was actually speaking with Alexey Stolyarov and Vladimir Kuznetsov, two men who are suspected of having ties with Russian intelligence services.
According to Politico, Graham told the notorious hoaxsters that he was hoping to improve relations between the U.S. and Turkey. Graham has been pushing for sanctions on Turkey in retaliation for their move against the Kurds in northern Syria. In the calls, the senator contradicted his recent statements, calling the Kurds a “threat.”
“I told President Trump that Obama made a huge mistake in relying on the YPG Kurds,” Graham reportedly said. “Everything I worried about has come true, and now we have to make sure Turkey is protected from this threat in Syria. I’m sympathetic to the YPG problem, and so is the president, quite frankly.”
The senator seemed primarily focused on getting Turkey to re-join the F-35 program and to stop using Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft system.
But Graham spoke with the two men, who go by the names Lexus and Vovan and have made a name for themselves by calling high-profile lawmakers in the U.S., about Trump’s desire to improve relations with Turkey.
“We want a better relationship with Turkey,” Graham said. “That’s exactly what he wants.”
Relations between the U.S. and Turkey have become a focus after the president made the surprise announcement that he was removing U.S. forces from Northern Syria.
In recent days, as The Inquisitr reported, Trump has attacked the Kurds for failing to support the U.S. in Normandy during World War II as part of his defense for the move. His comment raised more than a few eyebrows from people who didn’t find the excuse to be a good reason for leaving Syria now.
NEW: Asked about the Kurds, President Trump says they "didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy" and that they're fighting for "their land." pic.twitter.com/PbCb2wzm8T— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) October 9, 2019
Graham’s team confirmed the call and one of the pranksters provided Politico with a recording of the call.
“We have been successful in stopping many efforts to prank Senator Graham and the office, but this one slipped through the cracks,” Kevin Bishop said. “They got him.”
The call raises concerns about security protocols within the government. The prank itself was unlikely to have caused any serious security breaches, but it does indicate that those intending to interfere in U.S. elections may have an easier time gaining access to key players than they should.