Top Russian Politician Boasts Russia 'Stole' 2016 Election For Donald Trump While U.S. Intelligence 'Slept'

Vyacheslav Nikonov, a top Russian lawmaker and leading member of the United Russia Party led by President Vladimir Putin, made a startling boast in a television broadcast seen nationwide in Russia on Sunday night — admitting outright that Russia "stole" the 2016 United States presidential election for Donald Trump.

Nikonov, 61, a member of the Russian Duma (parliament) since 2011 and grandson of legendary Soviet Union-era political figure Vyacheslav Molotov — who gave his name to the "Molotov cocktail" improvised explosive device — also mocked U.S. intelligence services for, he said, sleeping on the job as the Russians stole the election right in front of them, the political news site Axios reported.

Nikonov's brazen admission marks the second time in a week that a Russian politician has openly bragged about Russian interference in the U.S. political process on live, national television. Last Monday Nikita Isayev, director of Russia's Institute of Contemporary Economics and head of the "New Russia Movement," stated that his country's intelligence agencies possess compromising information on Trump, and called for the Russian government to "hit" Trump with the "kompromat" material as payback for recently increased U.S. sanctions on Russia.

Read the Inquisitr report on Isayev's "kompromat" remark at this link. Isayev's mention of "kompromat" on Trump is believed to be a reference to the so-called "pee tape," an alleged video recording of Trump engaging in a "golden shower" (that is, urination for sexual purposes) show with Russian prostitutes in a Moscow hotel suite.

Russian Politician Boasts Russia 'Stole' 2016 Election For Donald Trump While U.S. Intelligence 'Slept'
Russian politician and close Vladimir Putin ally Vyacheslav Nikonov, who on Sunday openly admitted that Russia "stole" the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. [Image By Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Images]

Nikonov's alarming statement was first noticed by Russia expert Julia Davis, who monitors Russian political TV broadcasts and frequently uses her Twitter account to post translations of notable statements by leading Russian figures. Davis also operates the Russia-monitoring site

But why would a leading Russian politician make such a brash admission on nationwide TV, after his own government and even Putin himself has repeatedly denied any involvement in U.S. election tampering?

According to another Russia expert, University of Virginia Professor Allen Lynch, Nikonov's point was to portray the United States as weak and ineffectual when it comes to defending itself.

"His point in making the remark was that if the U.S. can't protect the integrity of its own electoral system, then how powerful can it really be?" Lynch told the political site The Hill.

Russian Politician Boasts Russia 'Stole' 2016 Election For Donald Trump While U.S. Intelligence 'Slept'
Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied his country's involvement in U.S. election meddling. [Image By Yuri Kadobnov/AP Images]

United States "intelligence missed it when Russian intelligence stole the president of the United States," Nikonov said, in one version of his translated remarks on Sunday.

On November 9 of last year, the day after the U.S. presidential election in which Trump won a surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million, it was Nikonov — a member of the Russian parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee — who announced Trump's startling win to the entire, assembled Duma.

His announcement was immediately greeted with loud applause and cheering by the Russian lawmakers.

[Featured Image By Evan Vucci/AP Images]