Russian President Vladimir Putin recently sat down for a rare interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly and his comments attacked Jews, dismissed US intelligence claims of Russian collusion with the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, and focused on talking points President Trump has made numerous times.
Putin starts by claiming that Russia absolutely did not meddle in the election, despite the conclusions of multiple intelligence communities and the mountain of evidence that has been racked up, including indictments against 13 Russian hackers and operatives that special counsel Robert Mueller filed in February.
Speaking to Megyn Kelly, Putin first took a jab at other ethnic groups. “Maybe they are not even Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars or Jews, but with Russian citizenship, which should also be checked.”
“Maybe they have dual citizenship or a green card, maybe the U.S. paid them for this. How can you know that? I do not know, either,” he added desperately.
When pressed for more information, Putin became agitated, proclaiming, “So what if they’re Russians? There are 146 million Russians. So what? … I don’t care. I couldn’t care less … They do not represent the interests of the Russian state.”
Matching Trump’s Rhetoric
Putin’s comments echo what Donald Trump has been saying for more than a year. When the Russian hacking scandal first broke, Trump attempted to deflect any connection to the Kremlin.
During the first presidential debate on September 26, Trump said “[Hillary Clinton] is saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t — maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?”
Trump took office in January 2017 and despite mounting proof that Russia interferred with the U.S. election, Trump maintained his “400 pound guy” commentary.
Putin’s Attack Against Jews
Most troubling from the interview may be Putin’s attack against Jewish people. In his attempt to shift blame away from Russian, he quickly put an unwarranted and unproven spotlight on Jews.
Putin’s comment led to a response from Ksenia Svetlova, a member of the Zionist Union party.
“Maybe the Jews meddled in the U.S. elections. Maybe the Jews rule the world, maybe the Jews slaughtered Jews in Poland – all of these claims have one root cause – a hatred of Jews,” Svetlova told Haaretz.
Svetlova has demanded that the Israeli government condemn the Russian president, saying that “if Israel does not defend the Jewish people, no one will.”
Watch the explosive interview in five parts:
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