People were not wrong when they said this past 2016 presidential election was a race with no good choices. Between the Republican nominee, now-President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, there were a slew of scandals and concerns.
For many weeks now, media outlets have been speculating whether the Trump campaign colluding with Russia with the intention to win them the election. Since the release of the intelligence community dossier linking the Trump team to Putin’s Russia, new details seem to come out everyday, furthering suspicions of conspiracy. Various members of Trump’s inner circle during the campaign and his top staff presently, have been connected to unethical or at least concerning Russian communication. This includes the resignation of former National Security Advisor to Trump, Michael Flynn, whose resignation is still raising questions in terms of the timeline of events, and who really knew about what he had been doing.
On Sunday, the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov spoke on CNN’s “GPS,” with host Fareed Zakaria about Trump, Kislyak, Clinton and Putin. Peskov came to the rescue of Trump who is often accused of having pro-Russia views, by saying:
‘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.’
‘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?”‘
This statement was in response to a question posed on whether Putin did or did not publically endorse Trump, and why. Peskov claimed that:
‘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.’
That is absolutely hilarious given that Russian hackers infiltrated the DNC servers and email servers with the specific intent of rigging, or tipping the election in Trump’s favor. Putin did nothing but disrespect the choice of the American people, by means of these hacking groups trying to undermine and influence the end result, perhaps successfully.
The aide did however say, that they were largely disappointed with President Trump thus far.
He then went on to defend the meetings that the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak had with various members of Trump’s campaign and transition team, belittling the communications by saying that Kislyak had a responsibility to meet with both candidates’ teams to talk about “bilateral relations.”
Wait. Does this mean what we think it means?
The Russian president’s spokesperson then specifically identified that people with proximity to Hillary Clinton “probably” had similar meetings with the Russian ambassador or other Russian officials.
‘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…There are lots of specialists in politology, people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary.’
Given Hillary Clinton’s perceived “hostile” views on Russia and a lack of “openness” on “bilateral relations” with Russia, it is difficult to imagine that Clinton’s camp did anything of the sort. At least, one would expect that they gathered some basic information on Russia alongside many other countries for the purposes of creating an evidence-based viewpoint on foreign relations.
However, given how vague Peskov’s suggestion is, it is impossible to know for sure, at this time. Surely Peskov has, with this comment, sent the searchers, researchers and diggers of the American media machine into action, and we can expect there will be more information to come out on this soon.
One important distinction in the meantime, is that whatever communication Clinton or any of her staff had or didn’t have with any foreign government official, didn’t win her the election.
Whereas with Trump, it might have.
Feature Image via Getty Images/Anna Sergeeva.