Rick Perry duped by Russian duo impersonating Ukraine leader

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Energy Secretary Rick Perry, right, talks with former "Saturday Night Live" comedian and radio host Joe Piscopo, left, at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Energy Secretary Rick Perry, right, talks with former "Saturday Night Live" comedian and radio host Joe Piscopo, left, at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been fooled by a pair of Russian pranksters impersonating the prime minister of Ukraine.

Perry spoke to the pair about the Paris climate agreement and the possibility of using pig manure as a power source in his 22-minute conversation with Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov. The entire phone call was posted online by Russian news site Vesti.

Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes confirmed the authenticity of the call, saying in a statement that the duo targets high-level officials and celebrities "who are supportive of an agenda that is not in line with their governments. In this case, the energy security of Ukraine."

The pair, known as Vovan and Lexus, arranged the call with Perry last week, just a few weeks after he met with Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, and his delegation.

The two men pitched Perry on a new fuel they said was made from alcohol and manure and discussed President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, as well as possible cyberattacks and the Trump administration's desire to export natural gas to Ukraine, according to a recording posted online.

Other victims of past pranks by the pair include singer Elton John, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • GOP leaders move to appease Rubio, finalize big tax bill

    GOP leaders move to appease Rubio, finalize big tax bill

    Friday, December 15 2017 7:00 AM EST2017-12-15 12:00:45 GMT
    Friday, December 15 2017 12:12 PM EST2017-12-15 17:12:40 GMT
    (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Kelly Craft) U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 20, 2017.(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Kelly Craft) U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 20, 2017.

    Congressional Republicans finalized their sweeping tax package Friday, expanding its child tax credit to placate Sen. Marco Rubio.

    Congressional Republicans finalized their sweeping tax package Friday, expanding its child tax credit to placate Sen. Marco Rubio.

  • Former ‘Apprentice’ star Omarosa denies White House firing

    Former ‘Apprentice’ star Omarosa denies White House firing

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 10:17 AM EST2017-12-13 15:17:17 GMT
    Thursday, December 14 2017 10:20 AM EST2017-12-14 15:20:28 GMT
    (Alex Wong/Getty Images) U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Director of Communications for the White House Public Liaison Office Omarosa Manigault during an event in the Oval Office of the White House Oct. 24, 2017, in Washington, D.C.(Alex Wong/Getty Images) U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Director of Communications for the White House Public Liaison Office Omarosa Manigault during an event in the Oval Office of the White House Oct. 24, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

    Former “Apprentice” star Omarosa says she resigned after a conversation with White House chief of staff John Kelly about some of her concerns.

    Former “Apprentice” star Omarosa says she resigned after a conversation with White House chief of staff John Kelly about some of her concerns.

  • Murphy names his pick to lead New Jersey's Treasury

    Murphy names his pick to lead New Jersey's Treasury

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 12:52 PM EST2017-12-13 17:52:56 GMT
    Assemblywoman Elizabeth Muoio was nominated to be New Jersey's next treasurer.Assemblywoman Elizabeth Muoio was nominated to be New Jersey's next treasurer.

    Democratic Gov.-elect Phil Murphy says he is nominating a Democratic assemblywoman to be New Jersey's next treasurer.

    Democratic Gov.-elect Phil Murphy says he is nominating a Democratic assemblywoman to be New Jersey's next treasurer.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."