Stung at the hostile tone of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s efforts to cast Russia as America’s greatest enemy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he won’t let Clinton become a global bully.
“Jeopardizing Russian-American relations in order to gain brownie points internally – I consider this to be harmful and counterproductive,” Putin recently told reporters in Russia in a video.
“It’s not funny anymore. If somebody out there wants confrontation. This is not our choice but this means that there will be problems,” Putin warned.
” … we consider it wrong, that we always have to be in conflict with one another, creating existential threats for each other and for the whole world,” he said.
Putin questioned whether Clinton’s talk was genuine or for show.
“Would Mrs. Clinton delivers on her threats and harsh rhetoric against Russia if she became President? Or will she correct her position against us?” he said.
Putin accused Clinton of trying “to distract voters from the country’s problems” by blaming Russia and Iran for the nation’s ills.
Putin made it clear who he would prefer to see win the election.
“Mrs. Clinton has chosen to take up a very aggressive stance against our country, against Russia. Mr. Trump, on the other hand, calls for cooperation – at least when it comes to the international fight against terrorism,” Putin said.
“Naturally we welcome those who would like to cooperate with us,” Putin noted.
Clinton’s tough line against Russia in the campaign is far different than her tone in speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs in 2013, according to transcripts shared by WikiLeaks. In those speeches, she said Russia posed no threat to the U.S.
Consultant Mandy Grunwald noted that Clinton’s campaign could be damaged by “a ton of foreign policy stuff” in the speeches, “including some naive sounding comments about Putin — that could cause a whole separate set of issues — but Jake should review all that.”
“Certainly he’s asserted himself in a way now that is going to take some management on our side, but obviously we would very much like to have a positive relationship with Russia and we would like to see Putin be less defensive toward a relationship with the United States so that we could work together on some issues,” Clinton is quoted in the transcripts as saying, later adding, “That’s what diplomacy is all about.”
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