Ambassadors to America and other countries routinely meet members of their political establishment and figures connected to it. It’s part of the job.
Russian ambassador to Washington met with numerous congressional members, including 30 Democrat senators in 2015 alone, discussing the Iran nuclear deal.
Criticizing Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions for meeting with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak is one among many ways of bashing Trump.
Interviewed on CNN Sunday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained Kislyak was doing his job. He spoke with members of Trump’s campaign and future administration officials “about bilateral relations and…what was going on in the United States.”
“(E)very ambassador of Russia abroad” works like “every ambassador of the US abroad, including (its one) in Moscow, because the more an ambassador talks to people in his country of residence, the better job he does.”
Kislyak had conversations with members of Clinton’s campaign. “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,” Peskov explained, adding:
“There are lots of specialists in politology, people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary.”
Kislyak visited the White House 22 times during Obama’s tenure. His administration facilitated the meeting with Jeff Sessions and other US senators.
Part of bilateral relations is dealing with these people and many others in host countries – why ambassadors are there, not assigned to be potted plants.
Peskov said Kislyak had no meetings related to America’s election. “So if you look at it with intention to demonize Russia, you would probably say that, yes, he was trying to interfere in Hillary’s activities. But it would be nonsense because this is not true.”
During the campaign, Putin never expressed support for one candidate over the other. He said his government will respect the choice of the American people.
He debunked false accusations of Russian US election hacking. Since first surfacing last fall, no evidence was presented. None exists.
Ongoing investigations won’t discover any, except perhaps invented claims with no credibility.
Peskov expressed concern about no improvement in bilateral relations, saying “(w)e certainly would expect our contacts to be more frequent, more in-depth, in order to sit and then talk to each other…because we had quite a significant pause in our bilateral relations.”
“For countries like Russia and the United States, it’s unpardonable not to be in dialogue, especially against this amount of regional and global problems that we have.”
“(W)e don’t have a better understanding on when dialogue can begin.” Political debate in America is “hysteri(cal)” on issues relating to Russia.
No evidence suggests it’s likely to stop.
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