18:01 GMT +326 March 2017
    Arizona Senator John McCain

    McCain Vows to Push for More Anti-Russian Sanctions in Phone Call With Prankster

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    Russia's notorious phone pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, known as Vovan and Lexus, made hoax phone calls to US Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Republican Majority leader Mitch McConnell, speaking about sanctions and cyberattacks.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The pranksters posed as Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and Andriy Parubiy, the speaker of Ukraine's parliament, while making hoax phone calls to US Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Republican Majority leader Mitch McConnell, speaking about sanctions and cyberattacks.

    Both topics have been making top news in the United States over recent months as new President Donald Trump promised to try easing tensions with Russia and promised to look into whether it was worth pursuing anti-Russian sanctions that were introduced at the onset of the Ukrainian conflict two years ago. Russia has been accused of helping Trump win the election by hacking his rival's servers and leaking compromising information.

    Earlier this week, a YouTube channel run by the Russian pranksters posted a video of a conversation with US Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who earlier claimed that "Putin is continuing to advance into Korea" and who now believed that Russia invaded an African river. Earlier in February, Russia’s Life news website published an audio of an alleged conversation between one of the prankers posing as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu rebutted the claim saying the audio was fabricated and no phone call with Stoltenberg took place.

    On Wednesday, Kuznetsov and Stolyarov told Sputnik that hoax phone calls were made to Graham, McCain and McConnell, promising to release the details later.

    Following the incident, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin was not linked to the prank phone calls and appreciated the fact that nobody had come up with the idea of accusing Moscow of the tricks.


    Stolyarov, who posed as Groysman, warned McCain that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally preparing compromising materials on him which would contain allegations of the senator being a Russian spy ever since being recruited during his time as prisoner of war in Vietnam. The pranksters said the material would be published by RT.

    "I thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, I will look forward to them revealing how I was brainwashed by our North Vietnamese friends… Maybe you could ask your ambassador to tell me more about that," McCain said.

    In the prank call, Stolyarov also said that Putin had also ordered two Russian hackers, Aleksey Belan and Evgeniy Bogachev, both of whom were placed on an individual sanctions list near the end of Barack Obama's presidential term over allegedly taking part in cyberattacks against the United States, to now attack McCain servers and tap his calls.

    "Thank you very much for that information and I will certainly be aware as to the content of my conversations as far as any national, security issues are concerned… We'll win this fight," the senator responded.


    The pair focused mainly on anti-Russian sanctions, repeatedly asking the senator whether Trump was really planning to lift them.

    McCain responded by assuring that he was going to do everything possible to make sure the sanctions remain in place, but admitted he had no idea where Trump's administration was going on the issue.

    "I have to be very frank with my friend, the prime minister, and that is that I do not know what the president is going to do… We will continue to advocate, including our Senate leader, Senator McConnell, for maintaining sanctions and increasing sanctions," McCain said, adding that any move by Trump to lift the sanctions would be countered with legislative action in Senate.

    The senator added that Trump was unlikely to come around to the sanctions issue anytime soon, referring to Trump's late January phone call with Putin, after which sanctions were not mentioned.

    McCain went on to assure the pranksters that US State Secretary Rex Tillerson, who is personally acquainted with Putin, would be careful to tiptoe around the issue due to his vulnerability to Senate disapproval despite being Putin's "friend."

    Tillerson was confirmed in Senate early this month by a margin of 56 to 43, with a record number of senators opposing the presidential pick.

    The pranksters then told McCain of Ukrainian plans to recapture Donetsk from eastern militias as early as this month. In turn, McCain said he had asked the president to supply arms to Kiev.


    The pranksters also focused on the issues of sanctions and Trump's policies while calling McCain's ally Lindsey Graham.

    Graham responded by assuring the fake prime minister and speaker that Trump could revoke Obama's sanctions but would not be able to do the same with sanctions passed by Congress after Crimea's reunification with Russia.

    The senator said that continued US sanctions were supported by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who recently met with Trump, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    In December, Graham and McCain were among four senators who called on Congress to launch an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the country's last presidential election. The two senators later said they planned push for stronger sanctions against Russia in the new Congress under Trump.

    Kuznetsov told Sputnik that Mitch McConnell expressed doubts over the success of the initiative. The Senate will, however, continue to work on measures to obstruct any potential moves by Trump to get rid of the sanctions.


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    • avatar
      including our Senate leader, Senator McConnell,
      So that back-biting snake is part of the anti-trump move in the Senate? I am not surprised.
    • avatar
      They should had try to get them to confess about assassinations in E Ukraine. I bet they involved.
      This could had been used at a TRIBUNAL.
      This MANURE men have U.S destroyed.
      They won't tell the truth many countries are ALREADY moving towards boycotting U.S products. And making from hard to impossible trade deals.
      they BELIEVE that everyone believe them.
      And they've NO IDEA of what they done. From IRAQ to SYRIA is all on them and others.
      U.S mess, where the money is NOT enough and the debt keeps growing beyond control, is ALL them.

      they so IGNORANT, that their attacks on PUTIN , is actually doing the opposite.
      About TRUMP, is NOT ONLY about IF Russia have spy ships,
      U.S is in the BLACK SEA harassing Russia and using violent rhetoric's.
      U.K is shadowing Russian ships and planes.
      Of course, Russia WILL DO THE SAME BACK!!

      Attacking the ships off U.S coast? Actually Russia is NICE.
      ME? I would had 10 such ships one each U.S coast and ALASKA, 254/7, supported by NAVAL assets and aerospace patrols.
      SEE how U.S likes it when someone is ion international waters, doing FREEDOM OF NAVIGATION.
      I assure that CHINA may follow suit and JOIN Russia.
      China will GREATLY benefit with Russia as super power.
      With and economy at least 70% the size of U.S economy. Where Russia can buy and sell with China and the world.
      Both should invite INDIA .
      And NO MAKE IN INDIA for Russia. Russia doesn't need this NOW..
      MADE IN RUSSIA BRAND and quality should be funded ASAP to begin Russian AGGRESSION, in TRADE... YES is a JOKE.
    • redstar59
      Monkey !
    • avatar
      Darrell R
      The US people really need to vote these people out of office. These attitudes are nothing but hateful opposition to any attempts at building lasting peace.
    • Hagbard Celine
      The guy gets worked up over nothing, he's a hater. What he hates is not so important, so , well Russia is fine. People like that usually get cardio-pulminary problems in the long run, maybe we will miss him this time next year already.
    • Drain the swamp
      Putin has all the information about hanoi johns treasonable activity in N Vietnam, but Russia is a chess player, the fool mfcain can babble but they will use the info on him when it has the greatest value.
    • support
      McCain, McConnell and most of the rest of them are the way they are because most of Congress and their lackeys receive kickbacks on dope traffic into the States through McCain's state of Arizona, the main highway for dope into the USA.

      The volume of dope traffic is as huge as it is because the cartel members and leadership all have CIA "home-free" status as the cornerstone of information-gathering for the CIA on a HUMINT level is made available to them through leasing dope-dealing concessions: if the cartels keep the CIA up to date on Latin American intel, the cartels get to sell in specific territories with the full protection of ICE and law enforcement agencies provided they also pay kickbacks on time in the right amounts to the right politicians and US and local government agency members. The US military is part of this game too which should go a long way towards explaining the otherwise stupid and inexplicable military decisions the US DoD has made in administration and in field operational decisions.

      I do not know why Sputnik News does not clarify for the general public that the main fiscal and political reason for the West's forces to be in place in Eastern Europe is to provide proctection and support to drug and sex slave traffickers for which Ukraine is the main highway to points West. Again, the black market dealers are the primary source of CIA HUMINT in exchange for territorial leaseholds on dope and sex slave marketing turf, and again, the kickback CIA homefree-card rules apply on all illicit transactions.

      I pray to God every night that President Trump goes the full Duterte route on purging these mass murderers who poison America's children with dope from our political system.

      I pray also that President Trump gives the FSB agents 007 licence to kill ratings on American soil and home-free cards to deal with these traitors against God and the USA and against every human decency. Russians know how to deal with this sort of technical problem as the prey always presents itself to the skilful hunters.
    • avatar
      If American people do not recognize major problem that this guy McCain carries with him on daily basis, the whole country may see consequences on the long run. It seems to me that his ONLY & life time objective is to see one nation down on their knees. That is absolutely insane + it will NEVER occur.
    • avatar
      What a tool McCain is. I would not piss on his head if his hair was on fire.
    • siberianhusky
      Please do so the sanctions have been very beneficial for Russia.

      And McCain please do us a favour and die right now.
    • avatar
      Crowbarin reply tocast235(Show commentHide comment)
      cast235, I can understand your point, although have some different views a little. These people especially traitor McCain ,Waters anti-white,anti-russia,anti-reallity. And many others are 2 faced backstabbing low lives.McCain is probably the worst as he is part of the elite and is a warmonger. The people are awake and now see the evils done to the world and don't think it is right. The elite ,MSM ,many others are attacking what is right and bring violence to the US and the world. The Russian ship is no issue although it's spying on naval bases. It is in international waters and although armed as ours are too. It is not there to attack us but to collect info. and test us. Too bad they didn't apply for a port pass ahead of time so they could visit. But we do the same and believe Russia has a right too as do others.No one is going to blow it up for hanging out in international waters. No one really cares it is here just unexpected. I too wonder why the English followed the Russian ships but maybe only to appear as not scared. I thought it was unnecessary and showed mistrust towards Russia. As you might believe all Americans are evil but only a handful .We are trying to remove all elite and people like those in the story above as all are puppets of evil along with others. Trump as he said yesterday he wants peace with Russia but the Dems. and MSM accuse him of being connected to Russia and out to destroy the US they even have many agencies looking into his connections even calling for his impeachment or others his removal. The Russia is evil crowd is out to get him along with many other that are declaring war on Trump. So he can't look to friendly right now although he wants friendship as most of us do with Russia. As the worst we just end up back to here. People of many groups will stop at nothing to remove him if they do I see a CW or similar war to destroy the evil and put back the peoples choice. MSM has a 6% approval rating while always telling fake news and hate for our leader. We are divided and many from evils of Obama , Hillary,elite. They are still saying Russia helped Trump win which is a lie trying to get him out as no one believes this or cares. Hillary interfered in Putin's election and many others yet cries foul when someone may have done the same as well deserved payback. But we believe in international waters so if we go places then others can cruise or coast as that is their right too do so as we haven't overflowen or harassed the Russian ship. I see no issue with Russia near our waters as we do the same over there and although. Russia might see us as a threat but we aren't there to start a war with Russia as that would be stupid atleast in most peoples eyes it would serve no purpose.But we never as a people really hated Russia just some who try to bring panic but most don't fall for it. But China is a long story I won't get Into that . Also just watched MSM and they cut off some of his speech to benefit their fake stories. Yes many are trying to boycott us as Mexico and Canada it's a long story to but Mexico acts like a victim while taxing our products we don't tax theirs.They send much money home and flood us with drugs and believe they have a legal right to just come in as if we have no say about our borders.Much more stuff they aren't bad but some issues as their military coming in many times sometimes holding border guards with guns aimed at them and citizens too. Many are good people but many are not. You sound much like me in your strong beliefs but you are right we are near your land so it's only fair you do the same as it's is public waters not our waters. But yes some warmongers and evil are still in power like McCain and others but we are doing our best to vote these idiots out. Maybe one day things will be better!!
    • avatar
      Tim - USAin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, I live in KY. McConnell and Rand Paul are my reps and I did NOT vote for either one of them. Both of them are war mongers. The people that ran against them are even worse than these two miscreants so how do we ever get them out of office? The US desperately needs term limits just like we have for president.
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