News Brief

Snopes Questions Authenticity of Russian Prank Call to Senator McCain and Congresswoman Maxine Waters

A Russian prankster duo known best for impersonating Vladimir Putin on a call to Elton John claimed that they were able to pull a similar trick with two American politicians who are known for their vocal support of Ukraine and condemnation of the Kremlin.

Snopes identified two separate recordings; the most recent posted on February 16, 2017 that allegedly features Senator John McCain of Arizona speaking with one of the pranksters who was posing as the prime minister of Ukraine.

Snopes cited dispute online over the tenor of McCain’s voice in the recording compared to his voice when speaking in congress. The myth-busting site also brought up that McCain has met Ukraine’s prime minister before and would likely then be aware that the prime minister is not a fluent-English speaker like the prank caller.

The alleged phone call to Congresswoman Waters (D-California) was made three days earlier. The congresswoman frequently tweets about Russian and Ukrainian affairs and several days earlier confused Korea and Crimea in an interview with CNN, saying instead, “Putin is continuing to advance into Korea.”

During the call, Congresswoman Waters refers to Senator Lindsey Graham as “Senator Lindsey,” something Snopes says is an unusual way to refer to the senator in addition to more dispute about differences in the sound of Waters’ voice in the recording.

The final rating for authenticity of the videos is undetermined according to Snopes.