WASHINGTON—In an effort to calm the president’s fears ahead of the State of the Union address, White House aides were reportedly assuring Joe Biden Tuesday that there was no way Vladimir Putin was going to appear mid-speech in a plume of smoke. “Mr. President, I assure you that the Russians do not have the technology or the ancient mystical knowledge to wield a teleportation spell that would allow a cackling Putin to suddenly materialize in the chambers,” the aide told a visibly shaken Biden, acknowledging that if Putin possessed the ability to appear in a puff of smoke, tonight’s nationally televised live address in front of a joint session of Congress would definitely be the perfect time and place to display such powers. “Honestly, I can see why you’d think that, especially when the lights flicker, ominous harpsichord music plays, and everyone in the audience gasps as Putin emerges from thin air, but you really don’t have to worry about that. The Capitol Building is a very secure location. Sir, please, just go out there and give the speech the best you can, just like you practiced—however, if you do happen to notice a lone figure still standing and clapping after the rest of the applause has died down, run for your life.” At press time, the aide ripped off his face to reveal that he was Putin.
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