Thanks to Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the indictments handed down Friday against 13 Russian nationals, we know that the Kremlin worked to assure Donald Trump was elected. But they also promoted the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Stein was a guest on MSNBC Sunday afternoon, and she got incredibly defensive when host Alex Witt asked about her connections to Russia. Witt began by asking if Stein had been aware that Russia worked on her behalf. Stein replied:
“No, we were not aware. Let me say we were aware of other kinds of interference. For example, we know that $6 billion in free air time was given to Donald Trump by the big networks. Six billion, this was twice as much as Hillary Clinton’s campaign and four times as much as Bernie Sanders’ campaign and way more than the independent candidates.”
Witt countered Stein’s assertion with fact:
“But it is not Russian interference, and I am proud to say that we had you on our broadcast several times and I had you on in person.”
And when Witt asked about Stein’s appearance in Moscow at a dinner where she sat at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Stein lost it on live television:
“Well, in fact, my presence there was not covered here in the United States whatsoever. It was not until it became a scam basically, a smear campaign against me and it speaks volumes of when did that happen? We were public and there were no backroom meetings and this was all being announced on our press releases and our website and e-mails. There was no secrets.”
Again, Witt leveled Stein with more facts:
“They saw you had an active campaign. ‘Doctor Jill Stein, this is another presidential candidate.’”
That caused Stein to get more defensive:
“Well, they did not assist me in any way. There was an effort being made to try to degrade my campaign, that was what was going on here. You had two political parties that are scared of their opposition because they saw a revolt.”
Here’s a larger question that both Stein and Trump need to answer: If you don’t want the assistance of an adversarial country such as Russia, why do you send emissaries there during a campaign or show up for dinner with Putin? Something here doesn’t add up.
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