go to top
President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, Jan. 28, 2017 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

Trump Is a Bad Joke That America Has Played on Itself—and the World

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

In November 2008, just days before the U.S. presidential election, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was the high-profile victim of a prank call from a team of Canadian comics pretending to be then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy. More recently, in August 2019, Sen. Lindsey Graham let his guard down with a team of Russian prank callers pretending to be the Turkish defense minister. Both suffered significant embarrassment when recordings of the conversations were subsequently released. In a way that was shocking but not surprising, the calls both revealed and confirmed the gap between what politicians say in public and what they say in private.

Though there are no recordings available yet, according to the latest reporting by CNN’s Carl Bernstein, government leaders around the world have been receiving similar prank calls for the past three years from a man with access to the Oval Office telephone lines. The conversations, however, turn the familiar tropes of political prank calls on their head. ...

To read more,

enter your email address then choose one of the three options below.

Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 10,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.