The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a “sweeping and systematic way,” according to the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller — in his report posted online by The New York Times — and Russia did so in order to help their “favored” candidate, Donald Trump, win that election. Now, Trump has personally spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and given Putin a “green light” to do it again in 2020, according to a former top FBI counterintelligence official.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump spoke to Putin by phone on Friday for what Trump said was roughly one hour, though a Kremlin statement put the duration of the call at 90 minutes. In the call, Trump said that he discussed various topics with Putin, including the crisis in Venezuela and “the Russian hoax.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also said that Trump and Putin discussed the Mueller Report, and the two men agreed that there was “no collusion” between Russia and Trump, according to an NBC News report. In fact, Trump himself, speaking at the White House, quoted Putin saying of Mueller’s Russia collusion investigation that “it started off as a mountain and ended up being a mouse.”
But when asked if he warned Putin against interfering in the 2020 presidential election, Trump said, “We didn’t discuss that,” according to CNN.
Appearing on the MSNBC cable news network Friday, a former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence — Frank Figliuzzi — said that Trump’s failure to prohibit Putin from interfering in the 2020 election amounted to a “green light” for the Russian government to continue the election sabotage operations detailed in Mueller’s report, according to an account by The Daily Beast online magazine.
Rather than “cozying up” to Putin, agreeing with him on the supposed “no collusion” issue, Trump should have delivered a stern warning to Putin about election interference, saying, “‘If it happens again, the wrath of the U.S. government is going to come down on your head in the form of sanctions like you’ve never before seen.'” Figliuzzi said.
Watch Figliuzzi make his comments to MSNBC host Nicole Wallace, in the video below.
“With regard to continued relations and cozying up to Putin, Putin has the green light now,” Figliuzzi said. “And the lack of pushing back by this government and by the president has got to be giving Putin the green light to do it again. ‘Do it again. Help us out.'”
Though Trump announced on Twitter that he and Putin had discussed “the Russian hoax,” and later confirmed that he had discussed the Mueller report with Putin, a Kremlin “readout” — that is, a brief summary of the phone conversation made no mention of Russian election interference, the Mueller report, or any topic related to Russia’s role in the 2016 or 2020 elections.
The Kremlin readout, posted in an English-language version via Twitter, also says the phone call between Putin and Trump was placed “at the initiative of the American side.” A Russian version of the readout was posted on the Kremlin.ru site.