Liberal Democrats, members of the intelligence community and some weak Republicans are still concerned that Russia tried to use ‘dis-information warfare’ in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 elections. Some of the focus has been centered on the Russian owned news agency, RT, formerly known as Russia today.
Lesley Stahl, with 60 Minutes, interviewed Margarita Simonyan, the Editor-in-Chief of two media networked owned by Russia, RT and Rossiya Segodnya. CBS This Morning, aired this clip of the interview in advance in part of the hype to get people to watch. In that interview, Simonyan made an interesting question that needs further investigation by either Congress or the FBI.
Stahl: “Let’s talk about Russian interference in our election, which our intelligence agencies tell us happened.”
Simonyan: “And you believe them, just like you believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Didn’t you believe that? Continue to believe that Russian interference in American elections happened. In five years, you will know that it didn’t.”
Stahl: “It’s also Facebook and Twitter say the same thing now.”
Simonyan: “What do they say?”
Stahl: “They say that the Russians used their websites to perpetrate pro-Trump, anti-Hillary Clinton information.”
Simonyan: “I can’t deny that there could be Russian media that had their opinion on Twitter, on Facebook, or whatever broadcast. Is that bad? Is that illegal? Isn’t that what the American media do as well? British media supported Hillary. No problem with that. No interference. French media supported Hillary. No problem with that. Some Russian media supported Trump. Oh My God!” [Emphasis Mine]
Stahl: “Did RT support Trump?”
Simonyan: “No, RT did not support Trump. RT did not support Hillary either. I wanted to win somebody who would be nicer to Russia.”
Stahl: “Did you get that?”
Why isn’t anyone hot and bothered with the British and French media supporting Hillary Clinton? Why is it only the Russian support of Trump that seems to be the problem? Would US intelligence officials swear under oath that the United States has never openly supported one political candidate over another in any foreign elections? Seems that Obama did, so is that any different than what Russians did?
Stahl would not let the topic die and then brought up a dinner hosted by RT where supposedly Simonyan seated former Trump adviser Michael Flynn next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, something that has been a hot topic for many involved with the investigation being conducted by Trump-headhunter Robert Mueller. When asked about that dinner and the seating of Flynn next to Putin:
Stahl: “You paid him $45,000 to come to the event and sat him next to Mr. Putin. It just conjures up the idea that eventually, he may have been some kind of conduit when he did get close to Trump.”
Simonyan: “Because he sat next to Putin?”
Stahl: “Because he sat next to Putin, there was some kind of relationship.”
Simonyan: “With Putin? Putin didn’t know who he was. I give you my word on that.”
I know that it’s just Simonyan’s word and you have to realize who she is and who she is with, but with the harsh treatment of Russia by Trump, wouldn’t it have been to her advantage to make some kind of implication of a connection between Putin and Flynn and ultimately Trump?
Simonyan raises some very good questions which I would like to see addressed by those who are out for Trump’s head on a platter!