Putin to Oliver Stone: Obama Created a ‘Minefield’ for Trump
The Russian leader, in an important interview, also addressed the hacking conspiracy theories
“We did not hack the election at all,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin to “Snowden” director Oliver Stone in the fourth and final part of Showtime’s fascinating series, “The Putin Interviews.”
The Russian leader was more fiery than ever in a conversation that took place in February of this year — after Donald Trump had been inaugurated and after conspiracy theories about Russia’s potential hacking of the presidential election became the favorite expression of upset over the election results among Democrats and the media.
"Certainly, we liked President Trump and we still like him because he publicly announced that he was ready to restore American-Russian relations," said Putin when Stone asked him about the new American president.
Of a statement Hillary Clinton made in which she blamed Putin and Russia for the outcome of the election, Putin said, "This is a very silly statement."
Throughout the time viewers have seen Putin conversing with Stone, he has been calm and collected. It seemed nothing could inspire him to raise his voice or get offended. That changed somewhat when he talked about the American media painting him as a villain.
"It would be hard to imagine any other country — even a country such as Russia — would be capable of seriously influencing the electoral campaign or the outcome of the election," said Putin. "And some hackers indeed revealed problems that existed within the Democratic Party, but I don't think that it has influenced in any serious manner either the electoral campaign or its outcome."
Putin continued by pointing out that Donald Trump ran a better campaign than Clinton, plain and simple. "Judging from everything, the American people have been waiting for some serious change," he said, adding that "security, unemployment, jobs" and "traditional values" were on the minds of American voters in 2016.
He continued, "And Donald Trump and his team have been very wise in running their electoral campaign. They knew, they understood where their voters were located, which states had the most electoral votes."
Putin said he thought Trump understood the average voter better than Clinton. "He knew the fiber in the souls of the people," he said — though he wasn't a full-blown supporter of Trump. "When I watched his speeches during the electoral campaign, I thought he went a little bit too far from time to time," the Russian president admitted.
Putin dropped some hard truths not many leftists want to hear right now: that hackers merely revealed information that should have already been known to the American public, and that those facts likely had little to do with the outcome of the election.
"They didn't tell any lies. They were not trying to deceive or fool anyone," Putin said of hackers, people he said could have been from anywhere, as reports have provided no "concrete" proof of Russia's involvement.
"One intelligence service says that there is a great probability that Russia has interfered. Another intelligence service says that the probability, the certainty, is not that great. They make some conclusions based on the analysis that they have conducted. Nothing clear-cut," the Russian president said. He added that the vilification of Russia felt "like hatred for a certain ethnic group. Like anti-Semitism." He said Russia was merely an "instrument" for an internal political war in America.
Putin also admitted he expected almost nothing to change under Trump because after working with three different presidents, he understood the power of bureaucracy in America, and he also understood the difficult task in creating serious change, especially for Trump. (click on page 2 for the rest of the story)