Do you know Binomo?” the impersonator asked. “They have declared independence. They had elections, and we suppose Russians had its intervention.”
“Yes, of course they did, absolutely,” Haley confidently replied.
And with that US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley got punked by well-known Russian comedians and professional pranksters Vovan and Lexus (Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov) – sometimes called "The Jerky Boys of Russia" – who had previously phone pranked figures ranging from Elton John to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Rep. Maxine Waters to Senators Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain.
The duo reportedly phoned Haley's office hours after the UN voted to condemn Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Thursday, pretending to be Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, in what ended up being a 22-minute conversation.
Image via Agencias
Poland was one among the thirty-fine nations abstaining from the vote and is also set to begin a two-year term as a member of the UN security council – a stance which Haley praised, tweeting soon after the vote “We appreciate these countries for not falling to the irresponsible ways of the UN." In a somewhat comical and seemingly desperate follow-up to the vote which was an embarrassing and resounding affirmation of American isolation on the Israeli-Palestine issue, Haley then formally invited the 64 countries who either voted 'against' or abstained (or just didn't show up) for Thursday's UN General Assembly vote on the Jerusalem resolution to a "friendship" party (was "Binomo" on the list of invites?).
So let's just say it hadn't been a good week for Haley, who apparently assumes there's a place called "Binomo" in the South China Sea, and that the ever-treacherous Putin meddled in their elections. The call continued with Haley, who as one of America's top diplomats is supposed to be knowledgeable and familiar with all countries across the globe, stating that "we've been watching very closely… issues that keep coming up about the South China Sea" – in reference to the mythical Binomo:
“And we’re aware of that. We've been watching that very closely. And I think we will continue to watch as we deal with the issues that keep coming up about the South China Sea,” Haley replied.
Continuing with the issue of supposed Russian meddling in democratic elections in various corners of the globe, the Polish PM-impersonator asked Haley whether or not “Putin [will] be aggressive regarding Europe next year?”
“It is hard to know what Russia is doing right now. I think what we have seen in the Security Council and otherwise is they are trying to be relevant in every region and they are trying to have some sort of say in every region,” she replied. “In some cases, it has worked for them and in some cases, it hasn’t. So they don't have the influence that I think they would like to have but they are certainly trying to get that.”
“I think that many of the other countries, whether it is the Security Council or otherwise, are watching it very cautiously and carefully to make sure that they don't get too much of a foothold where they can cause chaos,” she continued.
“They are aggressive and they can be difficult to work in the Council… And they [Russia] do try to cause some disruption, but we manage them and we continue to remind them what their place is,” Haley told the ‘Polish PM.’
According to RT News Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, took to Facebook to criticize Haley’s rhetoric, saying “Nikki, do you really want Russia to remember all of its ‘places’ in the world?" – while also calling Haley's perspective “somehow short-sighted” in what was perhaps an ironic understatement.
— Lina Arabi (@LinaArabii) December 23, 2017
The pranksters also inquired whether Haley had heard (the made up claim) that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had accused Kevin Spacey of harassing him in 2015, to which the ambassador replied that she would research it further.
Though Vovan and Lexus have received widespread media coverage after various pranks within the last couple of years, so far only Russian and independent media have covered the latest Nikki Haley phone call, which Haley's office has neither confirmed nor denied (and is not likely to address it at all). Regardless, it is a moment where the prevailing culture of 'Russiagate' paranoia has resulted in embarrassment for yet another top US official, as Stolyarov (a.k.a. Lexus) told Russian media in an interview, “Nikki Haley is a member of Trump’s cabinet. An ambassador to the UN holds a lot more clout in their country than on ours… It’s very funny when such a person is responsible for foreign relations in the US.”