The Russian government has announced that US Ambassador Sergey Kislyak has been recalled back to Moscow and rumors are circulating that he will be reassigned to the United Nations. Rep and hoax peddler Adam Schiff was not notified by the Kremlin ahead of time and the action appears to have been conducted without first asking for either his or Jake Tapper’s permission.
Ambassador John Bolton describes Kislyak’s mission while ambassador to the US as “certainly to push Russian interests, which includes getting to know as many senior political figures, commentators, business people as he possibly can.” It’s a lot like being the ambassador of any other nation.
Bolton says Kislyak is a diplomat, not a spy master and that any Russian influence operation would have been directed by the FSB or some other element of Russian intelligence. Bolton knows Kislyak well, describing him as an old Soviet-style diplomat, not the warm and fuzzy type. If he is in fact headed to the UN, Bolton joked, ‘All I can say is, Nikki Haley, get ready for this.'”
“Here’s a news flash,” Bolton says sarcastically, “for a lot of commentators in Washington today, it’s one of the functions of diplomats to gain information about the countries they’re accredited to. It’s not just spies who do it. And if a diplomat can find somebody who talks too much, boy, that’s their best friend.”
He says “Campaigns need to be aware of that to maintain an appropriate level of prudence and security.” As for the claims by Kislyak that he and then-Senator Jeff Sessions had discussions about the campaign, Bolton says, “Sessions denies that they had those kinds of conversations. And here’s another startling revelation: In the course of diplomatic history over the last ten thousand years or so, some diplomats have been known to exaggerate their accomplishments in reporting back to their capitals.”
They also discuss the Russian sanctions bill that Congress is in the process of sending to President Trump, which the Wall Street Journal says, “Would tighten restrictions of the extension of credit to Russian entities and limit Russian businesses in the energy and defense sectors from partnering with US citizens. It would also require the President to seek Congress’ permission to relax any sanctions against Russia.”
They acknowledge the pressure that it is intended to put on President Trump and how it is just one more of the Democrats’ efforts, along with establishment RINOs like the absent John McCain to tie Russia to President Trump and create the illusion of collusion where none exists.
Eric Shawn, always one to state the obvious, says, “I mean, in a way some say this is a slap in the face at the President, tying his hands. On the other hand, it really is not what the Russians would have wanted, Kislyak, I would think, would have some explaining to do.”
Bolton chuckles at that notion, saying Kislyak is more likely to go down in American history than Russian history. He believes that President Trump will sign the unconstitutional bill with a signing statement exempting him from enforcing it.
He says, “That’s what presidents do, they issue those kinds of signing statements,” noting that Congress can’t pass unconstitutional legislation regardless of the vote margin.
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