Hillary Clinton’s team members met with the Russian ambassador during the election as well as Donald Trump’s, the Kremlin spokesman has alleged, as he set out to dismiss the “hysteria” surrounding Mr Trump’s links to Russia. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria sat down with Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, who said that members of Mrs Clinton’s team had also met with Mr Kislyak, although he did not give specifics.
“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.”
Mr Trump’s administration has been dogged by a steady drip of reports about seemingly shadowy ties to Russia, which have infuriated the president.Mr Putin, Mr Peskov said, was pleased that Mr Trump defeated Mrs Clinton.
“The candidate Hillary Clinton was quite negative – declaring Russia the main evil, the main threat,” he said.
“Whom would you like better – the one that says Russia is evil? Or the one that says yes we disagree, but let’s find points of agreement.” He said his initial contact with Mr Trump was “quite promising”, but that Russia was increasingly disappointed with the Trump administration.
“We don’t have a proper understanding of the future,” he said.
He defended the actions of their ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, whose meeting with Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s choice of national security adviser, caused Mr Flynn to lose his job. He was fired after just 24 days when it became clear that he had lied about meeting the Russian, and misled the vice president.
“This is his job. He was talking about bilateral relations. He was talking about what is going on the in the United States, so we have a better understanding In Moscow,” said Peskov. Even our own ambassador to Russia conducts meetings like this because, as Peskov noted, the more an ambassador talks to the people in his country of residence—the better job he does.
Peskov also rejected allegations that Russian colluded with Trump officials to disrupt the election, saying the US is “self-humiliating” itself by even raising such claims.
“The answer is very simple, no. And the fact that Russia is being demonized in that sense comes very strange to us,” Peskov said. “We – quite unexpectedly – we faced a situation when Russia all of a sudden became, let’s say, a nightmare for the United States. And we sincerely cannot understand why American people and American politicians started the process of self- humiliation. You’re self-humiliating yourself, saying that a country can intervene in your election process.”
Does this mean that members of the Clinton campaign will be subpoenaed to testify in front of Congress? Earlier this month, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook couldn’t really confirm or deny whether members of the Clinton team had meetings with the Russians, instead saying “the folks that were managing that within the campaign have said that there were none.” As the campaign manager shouldn’t he have known about this or maybe John Podesta might know.