A leaked series of phone recordings suggests Vladimir Putin may be using compromising videos to blackmail Donald Trump into behaving like a lying, thin-skinned, petulant, hypocritical, misogynistic, race-baiting, xenophobic, science-denying, tax-evading, narcissist with little to no comprehension of global or national affairs or even basic grammar and spelling. The Inquisition has obtained hours of taped conversations in which the Russian president directs Trump to engage in insulting and denigrating behavior, including this excerpt:
PUTIN: You must mock disabled reporter.
TRUMP: Absolutely not. I couldn’t possibly do something so reprehensible.
PUTIN: You know what’s in these tapes. Would be shame if they were leaked.
TRUMP: Okay, fine.
PUTIN: You saw what I did there with “leaked.”
TRUMP: Yes, yes, I get it. You’re quite witty.
While some of what Putin has required of Trump is specifically advantageous to Russia, such as selecting Russian “Order of Friendship” recipient Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and Gen. Michael Flynn, a regular contributor to the propaganda network Russia Today, as national security advisor, most of Putin’s instructions have been aimed at forcing the naturally modest and mild-mannered Trump to adopt a belligerent public persona.
PUTIN: You must use Twitter to call people “losers.”
TRUMP: Really, now. I’m a grown man, I’ll do no such thing.
PUTIN: There is steady-stream of videos that could be released.
TRUMP: Okay, okay.
PUTIN: Also, call everything “big-league.”
TRUMP: What? That doesn’t even make sense. “Major league,” perhaps, but…
PUTIN: You know, with free flow of information these days…
TRUMP: Yes, yes, you’ve made your point.
PUTIN: These videos could make a real splash with the press.
TRUMP: My goodness, the indignity of it all.
While we may never know what the compromising videos contain, in their phone recordings Putin can be heard demanding that Trump take actions that make some sort of veiled, comedic reference to whatever was filmed. These include covering his entire living quarters in gold, building a five-story fountain that showers the gilded atrium of Trump Tower, embracing the discredited theory of trickle-down economics, and pissing away his entire fortune on a series of failed business ventures.
The president-elect has denied the existence of these videos as well as the veracity of the phone recordings, calling them “false, big-league,” and “a sad example of yellow journalism.”