UK DAILY MAIL EXCLUSIVE: Adam Schiff sent his staff to try and collect 'classified materials for the FBI' after Russian pranksters told him Putin has NAKED blackmail pictures of Trump
Spoofed: Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, had a seven-minute conversation with Russian comedians who offered him fake 'kompromat' including naked pictures of President Trump.
- · Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intel Committee was recorded speaking to Russian pranksters who spun elaborate 'kompromat' tale
- · He told Vocan and Lexus, two radio pranksters who have also hit Nikki Haley, that he would pass their claims to the FBI in a call made last year
- · The duo posed as a fake Ukrainian politician to say Trump had sex with Russian glamour model Olga Buzova after a Miss Universe pageant in 2013
- · In the call they said Putin had been passed naked pictures of Trump and now-president had used secret codes for talks with Russians
- · Duo gave emails to DailyMail.com which showed Schiff's staff trying to arrange to collect 'classified' documents from Ukraine's embassy in D.C.
- · Schiff's office claimed he was not fooled by the call and reported it to 'authorities' but did not explain why his staff kept up correspondence
- · Call posted in April 2017 surfaced as Schiff waits to see if Trump will declassify his Democratic version of the Devin Nunes memo which shamed the FBI
The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee was the victim of a prank phone call by Russian comedians who offered to give him 'compromising' dirt on Donald Trump – including nude photos of the president and a Russian reality show star.
DailyMail.com can disclose that after the prank, his staff engaged in correspondence with what they thought was a Ukrainian politician to try to obtain the 'classified' material promised on the call.
On an audio recording of the prank call posted online, Adam Schiff can be heard discussing the committee's Russia investigation and increasingly bizarre allegations about Trump with a man who claimed to be Andriy Parubiy, the chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament.
The call, made a year ago, was actually from two Russian comedians nicknamed 'Vovan' and 'Lexus' who have become notorious for their phony calls to high-ranking American officials and celebrities, including UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Elton John.
Its existence was first reported by The Atlantic but not how a staff member working for the minority on the House Intelligence Committee pursued the information after the call.
Schiff's office said the congressman suspected the call was 'bogus' from the beginning and reported it to authorities afterward.
But in a recording of the eight minute conversation, Schiff appeared to take the call seriously – or at least played along convincingly - and emails from the Democrat's staff to the fake politician afterwards said he had found it 'productive'.
Schiff began the call by thanking the 'chairman' Andriy Parubiy for his time and warning him that Russian spies were likely listening in.
'I would caution that our Russian friends may be listening to the conversation so I wouldn't share anything over the phone that you wouldn't want them to hear,' said Schiff.
Vovan, who was posing as Parubiy, reassured Schiff: 'I don't think that will impact on our investigation.'
The fake Parubiy claimed the Ukrainian government had obtained recordings and documents that proved Vladimir Putin was blackmailing Trump with naked photos taken during an affair between the president and a Russian glamour model.
Vovan also claimed the Ukrainians recorded secret meetings between a Trump campaign aide and a famous Russian singer-turned-spy that took place at a non-existent mafia hangout in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brighton Beach.
Schiff appeared to be taking notes on the conversation and repeatedly asked for spellings of names and documentation he could send to the FBI.
'I'll be in touch with the FBI about this. And we'll make arrangements with your staff. I think it probably would be best to provide these materials both to our committee and to the FBI,' said Schiff during the conversation, which lasted around eight minutes according to the recording posted to YouTube.
A spokesperson for Schiff confirmed he was on the call but claimed the congressman had suspicions that the caller might not be Parubiy and reported it to law enforcement last April.
'Both before and after the call, we were aware that it was likely bogus and had already alerted appropriate law enforcement personnel, as well as after the call,' the spokesperson said.
'Obviously, it was bogus - which became even more evident during the call - but as with any investigation that is global in scale, we have to chase any number of leads, many of which turn out to be duds.'
The spokesperson declined to address on the record why a staff member pursued the 'politician' after the call if the congressman thought it was fake.
The FBI said it could not comment on whether it received or investigated any information about nude Trump photos or other alleged Russian 'Kompromat' from Schiff.
'We do not disclose whether not a complaint has been received,' an FBI spokesman told DailyMail.com. 'We neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.'
Schiff and Trump have publicly feuded over the past week in the wake of a classified memo released by House Intelligence Committee Republicans, which alleged that the FBI used abusive tactics to obtain a surveillance warrant against a Trump campaign aide.
Schiff has been one of the most high profile Democrats in congress investigating allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials during the election.
Trump slammed Schiff on Twitter on Monday, calling the congressman 'Little Adam Schiff' and claiming he leaked classified information from closed hearings of the House Intelligence Committee.
'Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper!' said Trump on Twitter. 'Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!'
The congressman from California shot back that the president was spreading 'false smears.'
'[T]he American people would appreciate it if you turned off the TV and helped solve the funding crisis, protected Dreamers or...really anything else,' said Schiff on Twitter.
The comedians Vovan and Lexus – whose real names are Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov – drew international attention last year for their prank calls to Turkish President Recep Erdogan and Sen. John McCain.
The phone conversation with Schiff took place early last April as the House Intelligence Committee ramped up its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election.
Vovan and Lexus told DailyMail.com that it took them just 30 minutes to get the congressman on the phone after calling his office pretending to be Parubiy.
'[Schiff] was pretty serious. He wrote all what we said on the paper. Remembered all the details,' said Lexus.
Lexus said the congressman's aide also followed up with them by email after the call and asked them to send the materials to the Ukrainian embassy so that one of Schiff's staffers could pick up the documents.
The comedians claimed they would transfer the documents to Schiff through the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly.
Lexus and Vovan provided emails to the DailyMail.com which appear to show Schiff's staff discussing the documents after the call.
'I understand Mr. Schiff had a productive call with Mr. Parubiy, and that Mr. Parubiy would like to make some material available to Mr. Schiff through your embassy,' wrote Schiff aide Rheanne Wirkkala to the pranksters, according to the April 4, 2017 email.