A new political series on possible collusion between Russian agents and the Donald Trump campaign to get him elected in 2016 features an interesting Malta (or Maltiner) reference.
The Comey Rule is all about how former FBI head James Comey had investigated the Trump-Russia saga, based on Comey’s memoir A Higher Loyalty. The controversial two-part series on Showtime follows Comey in the run-up to the 2016 US election – and one scene hits particularly close to home.
Sat at an upscale bar, the Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos chats with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, with the show saying this happened “Eight Months Before Election Day”.
During these conversations, which were regularly brought up in the following years as evidence of Russian collusion, a certain Maltese man is mentioned… as well as some special attempts at saying “Maltese”.
Papadopoulos: “Do you know a Professor Mifsud? Joseph Mifsud?”
Downer: “No I’m afraid I don’t, is he Russian?”
Papadopoulos: “Maltiner… Maltese… Maltenese? He’s from fucking Malta, but he’s got connections in Russia, all the way up to Putin. We’ve been talking for months.”
Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud – a former private secretary of PN foreign minister Michael Frendo – was previously named as the alleged link between the campaign team of US president Donald Trump and the Russian government.
Papadopolous had originally told the FBI he had met Mifsud before joining the Trump campaign but, he later admitted to having met the Maltese professor in Italy in March 2016, days after he had joined the campaign team.
He later stated that Mifsud was a “nothing” who was just “talking up connections” and was “BS’ing to be completely honest with you”.
The Showtime series received mixed reviews, though it was praised for its acting – but judging from how badly they botched saying “Maltese”, we’re totally okay with the feedback.