Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Hillary Clinton to stop lying about Russia and stoking tensions or else “there will be consequences.”
Speaking on video at a press conference in Moscow, Putin accused Clinton of the oldest trick in the political playbook – framing Russia as a boogeyman to create “an enemy and unite the nation against them” and “to distract voters from the country’s problems”
“Jeopardising Russian-American relations in order to gain brownie points internally – I consider this to be harmful and counter productive. It’s not funny anymore. If somebody out there wants confrontation… This is not our choice but this means that there will be problems.”
Responding to a reporter’s question, President Putin weighed in on the US presidential election, criticising Hillary Clinton’s “very aggressive” stance towards Russia, and comparing it to Trump’s calls for cooperation.
“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 terrorists.
“Naturally we welcome those who would like to cooperate with us. And 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.
“Would Mrs. Clinton delivers on the threats and harsh rhetorics against Russia if she became President? Or will she correct her position against us?“
The Russian president’s criticism of Hillary Clinton comes after the Democratic nominee continued her Cold War style Russian fear mongering in the third presidential debate last week, issuing an extraordinary and unsubstantiated attack on Putin and Russia.
“Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions. Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the Internet.
“This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly, from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.“
However there is no evidence that Russia provided WikiLeaks with information, and the statement that 17 US intelligence agencies have “confirmed” that Russian actors hacked the Democratic National Committee is false.
First of all, only two intelligence entities – the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – have weighed in on this issue, not 17 intelligence agencies, and what the DNI and the DHS did say was ambiguous about Russian involvement at best.