Prince Harry was allegedly duped by Russian pranksters during two recent wide-ranging phone calls, in which the Duke of Sussex discussed Megxit, climate change and Prince Andrew, while saying U.S. President Donald Trump “has blood on his hands,” according to revelations made in the British press Wednesday.
In the recordings, which were obtained by the U.K. tabloids The Daily Mail and The Sun, Russian YouTubers Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov reached out to Prince Harry while posing as teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and her father.
In one exchange, Prince Harry reportedly said President Trump has “blood on his hands” for pushing the interests of the coal industry, adding: “Trump will want to meet you to make him look better but he won’t want to have a discussion about climate change with you because you will outsmart him.”
Describing the world as “a troubled place” that was “being led by some very sick people,” he also said people need to wake up “because at the end of the day we are all the frog that has been put in cold water and brought to the boil without realizing.”
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The comedians also prompted the prince to open up about his personal life, in the wake of the decision by the duke and wife Meghan Markle to step down from their royal duties.
“Sometimes the right decision isn’t always the easy one,” the prince reportedly said. “And this decision certainly wasn’t the easy one but it was the right decision for our family, the right decision to be able to protect my son. And I think there’s a hell of a lot of people around the world that can identify and respect us for putting our family first.”
Buckingham Palace and Prince Harry’s representatives have thus far declined to comment, without disputing the veracity of calls that allegedly took place on New Year’s Eve and Jan. 22.
Weighing in on British politics, the prince described Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a “good man,” while adding: “You have to understand that because he has been around for so long like all of these other people, they are already set in their ways. They believe what they want to believe, they believe what they have been told. So that is what you’re up against, up against changing habits, as you know.”
On Prince Andrew, who has stepped back from public duties as a member of the royal family over his relationship with the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, the duke said: “I have very little to say on that. But whatever he has done or hasn’t done is completely separate from me and my wife.”
Kuznetsov and Stolyarov have previously duped public figures including Elton John, Joaquin Phoenix, and U.S. presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.