Cardella: Congratulations, Vlad!

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By Tom Cardella

(In my mailbox this morning, I found a recording that claims to be a conversation between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Please understand that I have not been able to independently confirm the authenticity of this recording. Fox News has already labeled it “fake.” You, dear reader, may judge for yourself). The transcript:

TRUMP: Hello, Vlad?

PUTIN: Da.

TRUMP: Congratulations, bro! Your fourth freakin’ term as president. You did it!

PUTIN: Da.

TRUMP: You won 76 percent of the vote? OK, I guess. But, Vlad, be real. Without the deep state against me — plus CNN, the Times, the Washington Post, I get 90 percent. Easy.

PUTIN: (silence).

TRUMP: I mean you’ve got Pravda and Izvestia. All I’ve got is Fox News and sometimes even Hannity needs to criticize me to make it look good. You know, “fair and balanced” and all that crap.

PUTIN: (chewing).

TRUMP: Sometimes I’m forced to make s — t up. Do you ever have to make s — t up?

PUTIN: (flossing his teeth).

TRUMP: Neither one of us is as lucky as Xi (columnist’s note — president of China -pronounced “she”). President for life. Can you beat that? And Xi’s a funny guy. He told me, “I always make Xi up.” Get it — Xi and s — t? Funny dude. And he loves me.

PUTIN: (coughs).

TRUMP: With my base, I could have this job for life. But between you and me — and whoever’s listening in (laughs) … the White House is a s — t hole. Not exactly Mar-a-Lago, if you know what I mean? Melania’s tried her best to make it look decent, but the freakin’ Lincoln bedroom looks as if Lincoln actually slept there last night. How the hell did Clinton let big contributors sleep in there? There’s a painting of Mary Todd Lincoln above the four poster (chuckling). Kidding.

PUTIN: (silent).

TRUMP: So, when you coming to Mar-a-Lago? I know you play a little golf, right?

PUTIN: Da.

TRUMP: There are some people say I invented the game. And don’t tell me you beat Obama. Even Angela Merkel could beat Obama at golf. Me — I never lost a match — and no, I didn’t cheat. I don’t keep my own score. Don Junior keeps my scorecard. When he’s not shooting lions. And that CNN story about me moving the ball closer to the pin? There was a helluva breeze blowing that day. I never touched the ball myself.

PUTIN: (seems to be snoring).

TRUMP: (ignoring the snores) You’ll like the chocolate cake at Mar-a-Lago. Best chocolate cake in the world. Xi loved it. Xi doesn’t play golf, though. Says he hates the game. I didn’t know what the hell to do with him when he visited. I think he hates the game because the Japanese guy plays it. What’s his face?

PUTIN: (silence).

TRUMP: You know I had to use an alias to get your secretary to put my call through today. Yeah, I told her I was “John Miller.” Got a million aliases. You have an alias?

PUTIN: (silence).

TRUMP: I got one for you. How about Dracula? See, Vlad the Impaler was the real Dracula. Get it? At least that’s what some people say.

PUTIN: (silence).

TRUMP: I use the alias — if you were wondering — in case the FBI and CIA is listening in. Can you imagine? My own FBI and CIA spying on me? They’re all Obama spies. I heard about it on “Fox and Friends.” You ever have the KGB or whatever you call it nowadays, spying on you? That crap can hurt your ratings! But nobody spies on Vlad, right? You were KGB, weren’t you? I think I heard that in one of those boring intelligence briefings. Hey, I can’t believe you didn’t use the campaign slogan I came up with “Vote for Vladimir or things will go bad, I fear!”

PUTIN: (Yawn) Mmmm.

TRUMP: Strong, silent type, eh? I envy you. I like tough guys. You look good bare-chested. Me, I’m a suit and tie guy. Long ties. Red — your favorite color, right (chuckling). I wear the top coat open. If I button up, I feel claustrophobic. But you? You ride horses and stuff. You keep fit. Bet you never ate a Big Mac? Whaddya eat? Salmon? I like smoked salmon, but it has to be on a New York water bagel with a big shmear of cream cheese. The Jews really know how to eat. Did I ever tell you, my son-in-law, Jared, is Jewish? And I’m supposed to be anti-Semitic?

PUTIN (silence).

TRUMP: I hope I didn’t offend you. Vlad, you’re not Jewish, are you?

PUTIN: Nyet. Mexican.

TRUMP: (laughing) A sense of humor. Question. I understand you guys have an Iron Curtain. Is it better than a wall?

PUTIN: Da.

TRUMP: Is an Iron Curtain cheaper than a wall, I wonder? Let Melania pick out the color scheme. (chuckling). I’m kidding. Maybe the best kidder you ever met. Hey, you didn’t poison that guy in Britain, did you?

PUTIN: Nyet!

TRUMP: Sorry! Probably just Theresa May getting emotional. Maybe that time of the month … Women! So, about the sanctions we imposed. Little stuff — your borscht, vodka — I understand it’s not as good as Grey Goose anyway — although I never touch the stuff myself…Remember, Vlad, no collusion. Admiration, yes, but no collusion. Hey, don’t believe that crap about me paying off a porn —

PUTIN: (Click. Dial tone).

TRUMP: Vlad?