Speaking at his annually televised answer-and-question session to the Russian public, Vladimir Putin made the shocking offer on Thursday to give former FBI director James Comey political asylum if he needs it.
“If Comey will be under the threat of political persecution, we are ready to accept him here,” Putin stated during the speaking engagement. “It sounds very strange when the head of the security services writes down a conversation with the commander-in-chief and then leaks it to the media through his friend.”
Watch the quick exchange below.
In the clip, you can see where Putin actually compares Comey to famous NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who is currently living in Russia under asylum protection. The Russian president builds a narrative that Comey is somewhat of a civil rights activists for leaking information to the public.
There is no doubt in my mind Putin has the audacity to give Comey asylum should the former FBI director seek it. Of course, we know that would never happen. Putin knows this, too.
So then what is the Russian leader doing exactly? What he is doing is trolling the United States. He is trolling us at epic proportions.
There is no real free press in the Russian Federation. Major news outlets are state-run and manipulated by the Kremlin. Putin critics in the media are regularly killed. The idea of press freedom in Russia is a joke.
We know this. And Putin knows we know this
Putin clearly sees the irony in giving people like Edward Snowden and James Comey asylum in the name of government transparency. However, he does this to simply troll our own institutions – if his people are somehow fooled into thinking things are just as bad here as it is there, then that’s just a plus for the Russian president.
You don’t believe he enjoys trolling just for the fun of it? How else can you explain his answer to Oliver Stone earlier in June when asked if he ever has “off” days:
“I am not a woman, so I don’t have bad days,” Putin responded. “I am not trying to insult anyone. That’s just the nature of things. There are certain natural cycles.”