"Trump is Our Man" Conclude Top Journalists and Politicians After Visit of Russian "Spymaster" to DC
It's 60 Minutes about the most important developments.
— A tremendous scandal in the USA miraculously blamed on us. We should have got used to it, but this one is special. By 'us' I mean the 60 Minutes program. After the Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov hinted and then openly said in our program that the head of Russia's foreign intelligence service Sergey Naryshkin had visited the USA there was a crack of thunder. Congressmen quite logically wonder whom he met with and who let him in the US as long as he's sanctioned. Naryshkin was included in the sanction list under Barack Obama. He was almost the first among 16 Russians who found themselves on that list in 2014.
— Let's figure it out. Let's move to Washington to Evgeny Popov. Our intercontinental marathon seems to have caused problems to 'our', as the Americans put it, US President. Evgeny, you know better if it is a sort of paranoia, or something has happened. Have we really gone too far? Is not only Trump, but also Pompeo 'ours'?
— Pompeo is known to be a Russophobe, judging from the statements made. Hello Olga and honorable experts. Mikhail Solomonovich Gusman and Ariel Cohen are with me. Let's figure it out, since it is a scandal that we are at the heart of because it was in an exclusive interview with us that Anatoly Antonov said that Sergey Naryshkin had been here.
As for the latest news, Washington Post has just published the information that is likely to provoke an even greater backlash in Washington's politics, exacerbating the Capitol Hill's volatile situation after a political earthquake. Sp, Washington Post. I hope we can share a screenshot of the article saying that not only the head of Russia's foreign intelligence service but also the head of the Federal Security Service, Mr. Bortnikov. Can you imagine? We reported that it was a regular scheduled flight, and everybody could see Naryshkin, he was free to move from New York to Washington. There is no information about Bortnikov's trip, or there is no information yet, but it's already the US media reporting.
We'll look at the sources now. They refer to unidentified sources in the US government. Look what Trump is accused of after our 'spy chief', as Naryshkin is called by the Americans, visited the USA. By the way, not the 'intelligence chief', but the 'spy chief'! First and foremost for us, Trump is accused of the fact that the US taxpayers learn about the visit of the main intelligence officer from the Russian media. Speaking about conspiracy, Trump didn't impose sanctions during the week following Naryshkin's visit. It happened yesterday. So, a tremendous scandal is unfolding. Let's listen to the Congressman who is responsible for this political mess, let's listen to Schumer:
«Making things worse, just this morning the Russian Embassy tweeted that the head of Russia's foreign intelligence, Sergey Naryshkin, a man under sanction by the United States was in our country meeting with his US counterparts. The Trump administration must immediately come clean and answer questions: Which US officials did he meet with? Did any White House national security official meet with Naryshkin? What did they discuss? Surely, he didn't come alone. So which other sanctioned Russian intelligence agency figures has the Trump administration let into our country? And, most important, is his visit why the Trump administration decided to forego sanctions which, as you know, the deadline was yesterday. This is an extreme dereliction of duty by President Trump who seems more intent on undermining the rule of law in this country than standing up to Putin».
— Well, this is a professional's wok. But still, let's move on to what we think the most important, the epicenter of the tremendous political scandal, Naryshkin's visit to the USA. What is the most spicey about this situation is that under the first US sanction law which was signed by Obama when Naryshkin occupied another position, the entrance of the head of Russia's foreign intelligence service in the USA, was to be authorized by the US President, Donald Trump who yesterday refused to impose another set of anti-Russia sanctions and who has been under informational cross fire for two days. Let's watch it.
Jeanne Shaheen, US Senator from New Hampshire: «The Trump administration had 6 months to shape the sanction regime. What did they come up with? They gave us this list which is, to put it mildly, not at all secret. They just copied it from Forbes.»
Sherrod Brown, US Sen. from Ohio: «Nobody entrusts this President with representing the national interests when it comes to Russia.»
Benjamin Cardin, US Sen. from Maryland: «Russia is engaged, and Putin doesn't slow down. We're really concerned that he can do it again at the upcoming Congressional election. And our President does nothing to protect the nation.»
— Zhenya… We'll move on to Washington for a while. Something is happening there…
— The article seems to be timed to our program to add oil to the fire. We thought that Naryshkin was the most spicey about it. Let me read an abstract from the article that has just been published by Washington Post.
«Pompeo met with Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service or SVR, and Alexander Bortnikov, who runs the FSB, which is the main successor to the Soviet-era security service the KGB. The head of Russia's military intelligence, the GRU, also came to Washington, though it is not clear he met with Pompeo».
— Isn't it spicey? The head of GRU was in Washington too. Americans think, and we hear it almost every day, that GRU is the main body that coordinated hackers who chose the President for you.
— It is noteworthy that Schumer is not an ordinary Congressman, but the Democrats' leader in the Senate. In fact, he spoke on behalf of the whole Democratic faction in the Senate.
— That is, he expressed the opinion of all the Democratic senators in Congress.
— All the media speak about it, Naryshkin is everywhere. The US media will immediately interpret it in such a way that the people who had coordinated hackers came here. Ariel, what's going on here?
— I will even move. I think that the visit of this delegation is unprecedented and important. Accusing Trump of letting them into the country aren't grounded as Trump can cancel a decision for the sake of the national interests. He is not obliged to explain it, he is the President. Naturally, were the US intelligence officials to come to Moscow, our ambassador wouldn't disclose it. Because it's the fault of your ambassador.
— Ariel, if we hadn't revealed it yesterday…
— It would have been OK.
— If our ambassador Antonov hadn't said…
— Why did he disclose it?
— You wouldn't have told about GRU.
— Sergey Naryshkin's flight was a regular scheduled one. He was seen by a great amount of people. Wait. It was his decision. Thus, he didn't hide his visit. But the Americans did. That's the point. Had he wanted to keep it secret, he'd have found a way to arrive here unnoticed. But he deliberately chose a regular flight. The plane was full of people. He didn't hide it.
— Vyacheslav Alekseevich, explain it then.
Vyacheslav Nikonov, member of United Russia State Duma faction:
— Well, I'd divide the story into 3 parts. The first is about why our ambassador Antonov decided to speak about those meetings. You mean, to share such delicate information. Of course, I can only speculate on the issue. It might be a response to the list released by the US yesterday that included the Russian political leadership and the major businessmen. A bit asymmetrical response. The second point is more interesting. Why Naryshkin and Bortnikov were invited to the US? It wasn't there initiative, was it? They were invited. Why? Here my answer is more certain. They had to. Americans had to discuss countering terrorism and their national security. So far, we've heard only about ensuring safety during the FIFA World Cup. I beg it was not a discussion point. The USA really needs to cooperate with Russia to solve the problems that have become acute in Syria.
— The Kurd problem, Turkey, and everything around it. Afghanistan. The USA has mired in Afghanistan for 17 years. They really don't know how to deal with the Taliban. In general, they don't know what to do in Afghanistan to reverse the situation. These were the major issues, and actually terrorism was announced to be a discussion point. Nothing more. Naturally, neither Naryshkin nor Bortnikov can be authorized to talk about economy and sanctions. Now, the third point. What does it mean to the US domestic politics? You know, Democrats do have a big problem connected to the upcoming election where they anticipated a landslide victory. But Trump's been gaining popularity recently. It has a solid economic ground, the economic growth. Democrats, who intended to get the majority of seats at least in one chamber, now understand that their situation can hardly be called optimistic. Naturally, they will try to take to the surface all the stories that were or will be connected to our country to use them to harm Trump. But I must say that Trump and his team are no underdogs. Obviously, both Washington Post and New York Times who take the Democrats' side, will support this anti-Trump campaign. Democrats, led by Schumer, won't give up on the subject either. Special prosecutor Mueller's mandate will be expanded on the issue. But I think Trump and his administration are demonstrating that he's rather independent in taking the decisions that correspond, according to him, with the US national security.
— Despite paranoid American judgments that we face increasingly frequently, we can see the whole picture and we also like this scenario. But for some reason Naryshkin and Bortnikov turn out to go to the USA. US sanctions don't work. Moreover, they're given Visas, they're invited. After that Donald Trump goes back on sanctions, gives us a list. There are no consequences, seems like we do have some leverages there. In this context, I'm worried about the Americans and at the same time it's pleasant.
Nikita Isayev, leader of Novaya Rossiya:
— May I add something about Trump? Last week we said that Oprah Winfrey outdid his as a potential President.
— It doesn't matter…
— Secondly, Democrats have submitted and are likely to pass in Congress a decision that sanctions will be considered without Trump administration. Now, let's go back to the issue.
— How can Democrats pass it in Congress?
— I didn't interrupt any of you. It's pointless to speculate on the activity of special services, which are close to Putin, security chiefs, such as FSB, SVR, GRU, the Defense Ministry. We all realize that have a hidden agenda. We should judge on the actions from the intelligence indications. What happened in 2014 during the Crimea crisis? Quite the same, the same bodies were engaged in what we called men in green, little green men, etc. It's what Putin personally does. In other words, it's a rigged game of Trump and Putin. In fact, all the sanctions that didn't affect the Russian economy but equaled Putin to Russia and determined thievish elite, benefited Putin and his today's popularity.
Now, about the current situation. I believe that these individuals, security chiefs, being there…
Nikita Isayev, leader of Novaya Rossiya: Their visit shows that this list of oligarchs and government officials benefits Putin who is likely to plan a serious reform, including your State Duma, of the economic and political system of the Russian Federation.
— How can State Duma be reformed if we elect it?
— This shady Duma should have been dissolved long ago! And the government must be dismissed.
— There are no State Duma members in the list of 'Putin's friends'.
— Wait, Putin gets the right to the political will that everybody is waiting from him. He really couldn't do it from inside, on his own because we, unfortunately, over the 25 years of your rule, have turned into a small regional power.
— Sorry for interrupting, he couldn't do it on his own and uses Trump for it?
— 1.5% in economy, no influence even in the post-Soviet states. For this, the support of the great and the good is needed. We keep the money of these oligarchs there, and you're protecting them now. That's why now Putin, through the security officials, is now negotiating with Trump who, you were right to say, has gained momentum. It is right to rely on Trump now. We're not going to look into that stories about hackers, but perhaps they are true, and Trump is really ours. Perhaps, Putin has long-range plans here. So, the visit of these people is the negotiating process of Putin with Trump's security officials.
— The main conclusion is that Trump is ours, praise God.