Talking to the Russians might be okay, but lying about it is not

Talking to the Russians might be okay, but lying about it is not

Mar 13, 2017, 6:54:59 PM Opinion

The March 13 edition of the conservative newspaper, Washington Examiner, ran a story citing Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s statement in a March 12 CNN interview that people from Hillary Clinton’s campaign spoke ‘lots of times’ to Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, during the 2016 presidential election campaign. In the interview, Peskov also said that while Putin never directly expressed a preference for Donald Trump to win the election, because he viewed Clinton as ‘hostile’ to Russia, he of course preferred Trump over her.

Forget that last little bit. It was attached to the end of the Examiner article almost as an afterthought. Besides, it’s already pretty well known that Putin preferred Trump—although, he’s likely to find that the old adage, ‘be careful what you wish for, you might get it,’ applies here.

What strikes me is this. Even though the article doesn’t say it, the implication that since Clinton’s people talked to the Russian, we shouldn’t be making such a fuss about Trump’s minions doing the same. If that was all there was to it, I would agree—but, it’s not.

In the first place, an ambassador talking to the candidates, other politicians, and the like during an election is not unusual. American ambassadors do it routinely, as do all ambassadors who are doing their jobs. How else are they to inform their governments of what’s going on in their country of assignment?

No, it’s not ‘talking’ to the Russian ambassador that’s the issue here; it’s lying about it. Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions both had lapses of memory when asked about their contact with Kislyak. Flynn said he didn’t discuss sanctions, and Sessions said he didn’t have any meetings; both had to retract their statements when hard evidence came to light exposing the truth.

So, let’s keep the apples and oranges in the appropriate baskets here, folks. Maybe, just maybe, neither man did anything wrong by talking to the Russian ambassador. But, they sure as heck were wrong to lie about it.

Published by Charles Ray

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