WASHINGTON — A surreal new You Tube video released by a Russian pop singer who is a key figure in the investigations into ties between the Kremlin and the 2016 Trump campaign was a “satire” making fun of “some of the things I’ve been accused of,” the singer said Wednesday.
The video — entitled “Got Me Good” featuring a new song by Emin Agalarov — caused a media stir this week because it appears to mock Trump, a onetime business partner of the singer and his billionaire oligarch father, real estate developer Aras Agalarov.
“I wish you at least could be honest,” Emin Agalarov sings to a Donald Trump look-alike in the video. “I wish you told me the truth.”
The Agalarov video got particular attention because it appears to reference some of the more sensational, although uncorroborated, allegations about Trump’s 2013 visit to Moscow when he partnered with the Agalarovs to stage the Miss Universe pageant and initiated a deal to build a Trump Tower in the Russian capital.
At one point in the video, Agalarov can be seen leading a parade of scantily clad women into a hotel suite so they can dance on a bed while Trump watches — evoking the unproven allegation in the dossier by former British spy Christopher Steele that Kremlin officials had a compromising tape taken during that trip of Trump in his room with prostitutes.
Look-alike actors portray Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, mysteriously exchanging envelopes and briefcases, throwing back shots of vodka and playing poker.
Emin Agalarov — an aspiring pop star who liked to be known as the “Elvis of Azerbaijan” when he was married to the daughter of that country’s autocratic president — is more than a peripheral figure in the Russia probes. After forging a close relationship with Trump and members of his family during the (ultimately unsuccessful) efforts to build the Trump Tower Moscow project, he helped initiate the fateful June 2016 Trump Tower meeting in New York between top Trump campaign officials and an entourage of Russians that included a Kremlin-connected lawyer. The meeting was triggered by an email sent by Agalarov’s publicist, Rob Goldstone, to Donald Trump Jr. offering “official” Russian documents that would “incriminate Hillary Clinton.”
But Emin Agalarov, in a new statement released by his London-based publicist, suggested the entire video was something of a spoof in which he intended to “have some fun.”
“Everything that I’ve been watching in the news in the past year has been so unbelievable, that we decided to do a video that questions some of the things that I’ve been accused of organizing or being a part of,” Agalarov says in the statement. “It was all so far from the truth that we decided to put a little smile on everyone’s face with our take on ‘reality’. I hope people take the video in the spirit in which it is intended. Music is about fun, but pop music can be about satire and commentary, so I decided to have some fun mixing the two!”
The press statement from Agalarov’s publicist also includes comments from the Australian director of the video, Brett Sullivan, who described the video is part of a larger social commentary on fake news.
“It’s getting harder to tell fact from fiction,” Sullivan said. “We have to dig deep to find reliable sources in a world where perceptions — whether true or false — quickly become ‘reality’. It is these ideas in the current global political landscape that we explore in satirical fashion in Emin’s ‘Got Me Good’. Maybe we are all being ‘played’? Including Emin. Collusion seems circular between our cast of characters who are all out for themselves — yet don’t mind hanging out for a drink every now and then. ‘Does the truth even matter anymore?’”
Whether it matters or not, the video seems to have achieved its stated purpose of calling attention to Agalarov’s hitherto unspectacular career — at least according to Agalarov’s publicity team. The press release describes “Got Me Good” as a “sensational video that has already been causing a stir globally.”
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