MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin and failed U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump held a joint press conference at the Kremlin this afternoon, hoping to finally put to rest the notion that they know each other and are currently, or had been previously, coordinating efforts to steal the U.S. election from President Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Speaking first in their own native Russian, they each adamantly rejected the idea that they had ever met. “I have no idea who this person is,” Trump told reporters. “Is this guy’s name Vladimir Putin? I have no idea,” he insisted. “Who is this guy?”
“Not only have we never collaborated, in fact, we’ve never even spoken to one another before. I can’t see him, even now,” said Putin said of the man standing six inches away from him.
At one point, Putin even seemed to reference former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, saying, “Read our lips, we have not ever worked together!”
The highlight of the conference came, however, when Trump appeared to do a perfect impression of the Russian president, before a Washington Post reporter noticed that, “if you looked closely enough, you could see Putin’s lips moving while sounds came out of Trump’s mouth.”
In theatre critic Brooks Barnes’ New York Times review, Barnes said that while political reporters may still have questions about the two men’s relationship, “there can be no doubt the pair’s evident mastery of the ancient art form of ventriloquism is without a rival. Audiences haven’t seen puppetry this convincing since Trump and Steve Bannon toured together.”