I was called last week by one of my Russian friends who lives in Siberia. His name is Oleg Bullshitsikov and he resides in the village of Nunsensitova located deep in the taiga.
For those of you who slept through your 9th grade Social Studies class the “taiga” is the vast forestland of eastern Russia. It stretches for 5,800 kilometers across Russia. It is the largest forest in the world, the single largest biome on the face of the Earth. It’s really, really big.
Now, I haven’t heard from Oleg since his failed attempt in 2013 to host the Russian version of Miss Wild Forest in Siberia. He was out bid by 13 rubles by Donald Trump who now holds the rights in Russia to Miss Taiga, Miss Tundra and Little Miss Putin beauty contests. But that is a different story.
Oleg was fuming. He was pissed off . He was as confused as a Trump supporter in a third grade science class. . He was insulted. I recorded his call to me. Here it is, word for word.
Me: Oleg, what the weather like , comrade?
Oleg: Gloomy. Gloomy. Gloomy. This is Russia. Always gloomy. But especially gloomy for me.
Me: What is the problem, Oleg? Why so sad?
Oleg: Sad , yes. And mad, yes. Both sad and mad.
Me: So, talk to me , my friend. What is wrong?
Oleg: Let me give you some names. Then I will tell you. Here some some names. Sergey Kislyak. Russians “diplomat”. Big ties to Trump and the GOP. Gazprom. Energy company with ties to Tillerson. Igor Sechkin, president of Russian owned energy company, Rosneft. All have direct ties to Donald Trump. Direct ties. No middle man.
Me: So, what is the problem with that?
Oleg: Wait, I am not done. There is more. RIT, Russian propaganda station. GRU, Russian intelligence agency. Both connected to Mike Flynn. Also connected to Carter Page. Also connected to Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Leaked anti-Clinton emails. Another connection to Trump.
Me: So, what is your point, Oleg?
Oleg: Wait. Wait. I am not done. Dmitry Firtash, Ukrainian oligarch. Victor Yanukovych, former Ukrainian president. Oleg Deripaska, Ukrainian oligarch. Konsatntin Kilimnik, Ukrainian associated with the Russian GRU. All connected to Manafort. Manafort was Trump’s campaign chairman. Another connection to Trump.
Me: Yes, well, seems to be a few connections with oligarchs and Russians and Trump. But, what is your point?
Oleg: Wait. Wait. I am not done. Consider this. Aras Agalarov, builds lots of building in Russia for Putin. Sergei Millian, head of Russian chamber of commerce. Alfa Bank, biggest private bank in Russia. Fedor Emelianenko, a big star in Russia. All of these guys are friends of Putin and have done business with Trump. Lots of Russian connections to Trump for many years.
Me: OK, so, I still don’t see why you are so upset, Oleg. What is the problem?
Oleg: Wait. Wait, my friend. I am not done. Fabian Baussart and Randa Kassis, who wanted to give Putin the Nobel Peace Prize for his peaceful work in Syria. Roman and Dasha Abramovich, oligarchs and friends of Vladimir Putin. All have ties to Donald Trump Junior or Ivanka Trump. So many Russian connections to the Trump family businesses. So many.
Me: Still don’t see where you are going with this, Oleg.
Oleg: Wait. There is more. Yevgeniy Prigozhin, Mikhail Bystrov, Mikhail Burchik, Aleksandra, Kirylova, Anna Bogecheva, Sergey Polozov, Maria Bovda, Robert Bovda, Jay Aslanov, Vadim Podkopaev, Gleb Vasilchencko, Irina Kaverzina, Vladimir Venkov. All these Russians indicted by the US government. Why? For helping Donald Trump win the election. You think they did this for free? For nothing. We are Russians. We do nothing for nothing.
Me: OK. So, Oleg, why so angry?
Oleg: Why so angry? Where is my cut? Why was I not allowed in on this scheme? What did I do to deserve this? Am I the only man in Russia who is not on the payroll of Trump? Outrageous. Despicable! Un-Russian. I am just a poor Russian who could use a few more rubles. Donald. Do you hear me? I have some tundra near the North Pole I can sell you you real cheap? Donald, help me. I am for sale!
Me: OK , Oleg. Sorry you are out of the Trump loop. Hang in there. 2020 is not that far away and I am sure there will be plenty of new opportunities coming your way.
Oleg: Farewell my friend. Gloomy. So gloomy. Always gloomy in Mother Russia. Next time you see Michael Cohen please mention my name. OK , comrade?