Putin soccer ball transmitter chip. It was supposed to be a fun moment in the midst of a 2018 World Cup, which just happened to be in Russia, in which the Russian president (who just happens to be a brutal thug responsible for the deaths of those who oppose his regime, but let’s ignore that part because it ruins the warm moment), presented the American president with a World Cup soccer ball during a summit in Finland—which no one wanted to happen. It was at that moment that Putin said, “Mr. President, I’ll give this ball to you … and now the ball is in your court.”
But we got it, it was a moment between a two-bit terrorist thug and Vladimir Putin.
Welp, it turns out that the Adidas soccer ball that President Trump quickly tossed to his wife “contained a chip with a tiny antenna that transmits to nearby phones,” Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
Looks like Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham might’ve been on to something when he tweeted that he’d “check the soccer ball.” And I can’t believe I just agreed with a Republican senator. FML.
While I totally want to believe that this is some Maxwell Smart shoe phone shit, according to Bloomberg, it may all be the work of Adidas’ new technology in which the chip inside the ball allows those close to it to access videos and competitions stored on said chip.
While Adidas notes that the chip can’t be modified, the sports apparel company “declined to comment to Bloomberg on whether the device could be used in a “Russian cyberattack,” the news site reports.
Bloomberg still raised concerns as to whether the ball had been modified or if the ball was, in fact, the factory Adidas ball or merely a replica like a piñata filled with all kinds of Russian spy gadgets.
While the logo on the ball advertised the presence of the chip, it couldn’t be determined from the photos whether the chip might have been removed, replaced with actual spy gear, or, even more remotely, whether the entire ball itself was fabricated for the event and only resembled the Adidas model in question.
“The security screening process that is done for all gifts was done for the soccer ball,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in an email. “We are not going to comment further on security procedures.”
I’m not sure why that ball wasn’t thrown in the trash or put up on eBay to fund former Trump lawyer -turned-righteous America’s new best friend Michael Cohen’s defense fund.