Smirnoff has mocked US President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia with a new advertising campaign.
The vodka brand’s new ad posters are emblazoned with the message: “Made in America, but we’d be happy to speak about our ties to Russia under oath.”
Smirnoff is owned by British drinks giant Diageo but was founded in Moscow in 1864 and is one of the best-selling spirits brands in the world.
The line is apparently a reference to Mr Trump’s current troubles, as he faces broadening investigations by the FBI and congressional committees into his campaign’s alleged Moscow links.
The President has been accused of obstructing justice by allegedly pressuring former FBI Director James Comey to stop the Bureau’s investigation into communications between key Trump aides and Russian intelligence officials.
Smirnoff's new ad campaign pic.twitter.com/IPEwbLJFlq
— Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) June 11, 2017
In his testimony last week, Mr Comey suggested that he had been fired for continuing to pursue the Russia investigation. He also said that Mr Trump had said he “hoped” Mr Comey could find a way to end the probe.
The President maintains that Mr Comey’s version of events is incorrect
On Sunday, Senators invited Mr Trump to testify under oath after he said he would be “100 percent” willing to answer questions on the Russia investigation and the supposed tapes of his conversation with the former FBI director.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told CBS that he wanted to invite Mr Trump to testify before the Senate.
“I think we could work out a way it could be dignified, public, with questions, with [Senate majority leader, Mitch] McConnell.”
Mr Comey testified last week that the President had falsely claimed that the FBI was in disarray. Mr Trump wanted assurances he would be “loyal” and that he himself was not under investigation, Mr Comey said.
The former FBI director also confirmed he had his friend leak a series of memos he had written about his relationship with the President to the press.
Mr Trump responded on Twitter, “I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal? Very ‘cowardly!’”
(This report was published in The Independent)