Russia: Vladimir Putin jokingly offers ex-FBI chief James Comey asylum
Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted a little of the secrecy around his grandchildren and mockingly offered ex-FBI chief James Comey asylum during his annual televised phone-in today.
But the Kremlin strongman ignored more biting questions from viewers about jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his plans to stand for a fourth term, which appeared on-screen in an apparent glitch.
In comments aimed at a domestic audience, Putin insisted the latest US sanctions over alleged election meddling are efforts to “contain Russia”.
The US Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve further sanctions against Russia yesterday.
“The United States is not our enemy,” Putin said, but he complained of Russia facing sanctions “throughout all of our history” from global partners who fear a “serious competitor”.
Putin also jokingly suggested he could offer political asylum to fired FBI director James Comey — who had been overseeing the bureau’s Russia investigation — comparing him to fugitive NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who has asylum in Russia.
Putin spoke after Comey said he had arranged for notes on his one-on-one meetings with Donald Trump to be leaked to a reporter.
“When the head of a security service records a conversation with the commander-in-chief and passes it to the media… then how is the FBI …read more