BBC duped by man claiming to be Cory Booker, bluffs way into Khashoggi interview

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A trickster claiming to be New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker bluffed his way into a BBC radio interview on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a red-faced apology from the British outlet and tweets from confused listeners.

“In our Newshour radio programme on Friday, a man claiming to be Senator Cory Booker was interviewed in what appears to be a deliberate hoax,” the BBC said in a statement. “We have apologized to Senator Booker and are looking into what went wrong to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The BBC noted that the interview only aired one time, on Feb. 26, and all traces of it seem to have been scrubbed from the outlet’s site.

That one airing, however, immediately caught the attention of listeners who — unlike the show’s producers — saw right through the attempt to impersonate the Garden State Democrat.

“@CoryBooker did you do an interview today with the BBC discussing the Khashoggi killing?” tweeted one user on Feb. 26. “Someone sounding nothing like you and without your speech pattern was claiming to be you today.”

Added another user, “I’m not sure who the BBC World Service just interviewed on Newshour about US relations with Saudi Arabia, but it definitely wasn’t Senator Cory Booker…”

It was not immediately clear who was behind the prank.

The real Booker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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