Vladimir Putin’s spokesman claimed over the weekend that the infamous Russian ambassador also met with a number of Hillary Clinton’s people during last year’s presidential campaign. The revelation, if true, should cause the Clinton camp no small amount of embarrassment and heartburn after all of the hyperventilating they’ve done over team Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
Dmitry Peskov casually broke the news to CNN “GPS” host Fareed Zakaria during an interview Saturday, noting that it is Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s job to meet with officials on both sides of the political aisle and to foster “bilateral relations.” He also stated that people associated with Clinton during the presidential campaign met with him as well.
“Well, if you look at some people connected with Hillary Clinton during her campaign, you would probably see that he had lots of meetings of that kind,” Peskov said. “There are lots of specialists in politology, people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary.”
Peskov insisted that it would be nonsensical to claim that the meetings were an attempt to interfere in the 2016 election.
“But there were no meetings about elections — electoral process — so if you look at it with intention to demonize Russia, you would probably say that, yes, he was trying to interfere in Hillary’s activities. But it would be nonsense, because this is not true,” Peskov said.
Peskov said that Putin never publically voiced support for then-presidential candidate Trump, even if he did prefer him privately.
“You would probably recall that President Putin, during election campaign, had never answered directly a question about his candidate of his support. He kept saying that we will respect a choice of American people,” Peskov told Zakaria. “If you ask him whether he had mentioned the then-candidate Donald Trump, I will answer, yes, he had.”
The reason for his preference for Trump should be by now obvious.
“The candidate Hillary Clinton was quite negative about our country in her attitude and in her program, declaring Russia being nearly the main evil in the world and the main threat for the United States,” Peskov explained.
“And to the contrary, the other candidate, Donald Trump, was saying that, ‘Yes, we disagree with the Russians … in lots of issues, but we have to talk to them in order to try to find some understanding.’ Whom would you like better? The one who says that Russia is evil or the one who says that, ‘Yes, we disagree, but let’s talk to understand and to try to find some points of agreement?’” he asked.
If Peskov’s claims are true, Clinton would only be the latest red-faced Democrat who was found to have met with Kislyak after denying it.
Via Fox News:
After House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., denied having met with the ambassador, Politico unearthed a 2010 photo showing a meeting of congressional lawmakers and then-Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev. Pelosi and Kislyak were present.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., also tweeted that she had “been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years. No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever. Ambassadors call members of Foreign Rel Com.” This turned out not to be true after online sleuths found a 2013 tweet in which she said: “Off to meeting w/Russian Ambassador.”
Former Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill told Fox News Monday night, “it’s not true, which is why they’re using the word ‘probably’ is my guess.”
Tucker Carlson had Democrat strategist Bob Beckel on his show to discuss this latest hitch in the Democrats’ Russia narrative. Backed into a corner, Beckel had to throw cold water on the Democrats’ conspiracy-mongering over Russia.
“I think it would be a little bit of a problem if you didn’t try to make some contacts with major foreign powers around the world when you’re running for president of the United States,” he said.