Conference Call – 2
February 27, 2022
A deferential aide approaches Vladimir Putin and, after being summoned closer, bends to whisper in his ear.
“Tell him I’m quite busy,” he says, but a few seconds later he stands. “Okay, I’ll take the call in private. Excuse me, gentlemen.”
Putin walks to a nearby room, closes the double doors, and picks up the phone, nodding at his translator to get on the other line.
“I can’t talk long, Donald. But I do appreciate your calling me a genius.”
“Thanks so much for giving me a few minutes,” says Trump. “I’m really proud of the way you’re handling the Ukrainians.”
“I have a historic duty to denazify that traitorous part of our nation.”
“We should be doing the same thing at our southern border.”
Putin clears his throat. “I am quite disappointed, Donald, that you said I’d never have liberated Ukraine if you’d been president. For your edification, I would have.”
“Sure, Vladimir, I believe that. I was just scoring some political points.”
The aide knocks and opens the door, waiting until Putin impatiently asks, “What is it?”
“President Biden is on the hotline.”
Putin smirks and says, “Put him on. And connect Donald, too.”
“President Putin, this is President Joe Biden of the United States.”
“I’m honored to receive your call.”
“We’re rapidly strengthening our sanctions,” says Biden, “and you and the Russian people are going to suffer.”
“Joe, this is President Trump. If you were so gung ho about sanctions, why didn’t you unleash them weeks ago? You’ve been too busy reducing our energy production.”
“What the hell’s he doing on the line?” Biden asks.
“It’s entirely coincidental,” says Putin.
“President Putin, the world is uniting against you. I urge you to withdraw from Ukraine at once.”
Shaking his head at the translator, Putin says, “You know that’s not possible and is at any rate entirely contrary to my destiny.”
“And what’s that, killing people who pose no danger?”
“President Biden, I believe you voted to slaughter helpless Iraqi citizens in 2003.”
“He sure did, Vladimir, and I didn’t,” says Trump.
“Maybe I was wrong about Iraq, but I’m right to make sure NATO’s strong and united in opposition to President Putin’s criminal invasion.”
“Don’t worry, Vladimir, Joe’s the weakest and most senile leader we’ve ever had. His approval rating’s down around forty percent. He can’t hurt you.”
“My numbers are down in Trump territory, but they’ll soon bounce back.”
Putin huffs. “Just a week ago you were pounding your chest that the United States and NATO would never promise to exclude Ukraine from joining NATO. Would the United States tolerate northern Mexico and southern Canada forming military alliances with Russia?”
Putin paused. Biden didn’t answer.
“We’d never put up with that Vladimir, and you shouldn’t tolerate enemies around Russia,” says Trump.
“Whose side are you on, Donald?” Biden shouts.
“I’m against you for being weak and incompetent and stealing an election everyone knows I won by a landslide.”
Pointing at his translator, Putin says, “Gentlemen, we can discuss U.S. politics another time. For now, I hope both of you will support my liberation of oppressed people.”
“You know I’ve got your back,” says Trump.
“You both disgust me,” Biden says.
“I must return to duty. I trust we shall soon speak again.”