MOSCOW (AP) — In a sarcastic outburst, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday scoffed at former FBI director James Comey’s disclosure of his conversations with President Donald Trump, saying the move has made Comey eligible for political asylum in Russia.
Putin, speaking in a live call-in show that lasted four hours, likened Comey to NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who has been living in Russia since being granted asylum in 2013.
“It looks weird when the chief of a security agency records his conversation with the commander-in-chief and then hands it over to media via his friend,” Putin said. “What’s the difference then between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden? In that case, he’s more of a rights campaigner defending a certain position than the security agency chief.”
On an acerbic note, he added that if Comey “faces some sort of persecution in connection with that, we are ready to offer political asylum in Russia to him as well.”
The remarks reflected Putin’s annoyance with the congressional and FBI investigations into links between Trump campaign officials and Russia, which have haunted the White House, shattering Moscow’s hopes for improving ties with Washington.
The Russian president reaffirmed his denial of meddling in the U.S. election, saying that Russia has openly expressed its views and hasn’t engaged in any covert activities.
He also attempted to turn the tables on the U.S., saying it has sought to influence Russian elections by funding NGOs as part of its aspirations for global domination.
“Turn a globe and point…Read More