Senate #TrumpRussia investigators are interested in Jill Stein…

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[Since the November 2016 election, when Stein was widely perceived as a spoiler whose third-party campaign likely drew votes away from Hillary Clinton, Stein has repeatedly said she has received no funds from Russian sources. But her relationship with RT (formerly Russia Today), a television channel closely affiliated with the Russian government, has come under intense scrutiny. Her critics have pointed to pro-Stein advertising that Facebook has said was purchased by internet trolls, Stein’s many appearances on RT, and her attendance at a 2015 dinner for RT that was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and future White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.](https://www.salon.com/2017/12/21/senate-probes-jill-steins-russia-connections-did-she-really-spoil-the-election/ “Senate probes Jill Stein’s Russia connections: Did she really spoil the election? – Salon.com“)

“by ROBERT WINDREM Two Senate committees probing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election have now asked for materials related to Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s campaign. Why are investigators interested in Stein? The environmentalist, an advocate of better relations with Russia, has been a Kremlin favorite since her first run as the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2012. She has regularly appeared on Russian state-owned television, including RT, and famously sat across from Russian President Vladimir Putin at a 2015 gala dinner. “The Russian embrace of Jill Stein was anything but subtle,” said Andrew Weiss, a Russia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Russian state propaganda outlets like RT had a field day with her strident attacks on the U.S. political establishment, and they seemed to work hand in glove.” Clint Watts, an NBC News analyst who has been tracking Russian election interference at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said that Russia’s intelligence agencies “sought to play both sides of the political spectrum to elevate Trump and turn down turnout for Clinton.””:https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/why-are-senate-russia-investigators-interested-jill-stein-n831261

“The Senate intelligence committee has asked for documents from former presidential candidate Jill Stein as part of its inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election, adding another new thread to the panel’s investigation as it heads into the new year. Stein said in a statement overnight Tuesday that she was cooperating with the investigation and is providing documents to the committee. She has captured the interest of investigators partly because she attended a 2015 dinner sponsored by the Russian television network RT with Vladimir Putin.”:https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/19/jill-stein-trump-russia-investigation-documents

“By Mary Clare Jalonick | AP December 19 WASHINGTON — The Senate intelligence committee has asked for documents from Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein as part of its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, adding another new thread to the panel’s investigation as it heads into next year. Stein said Tuesday that she was cooperating with the probe and providing documents to the committee. She has captured the interest of investigators partly because she attended a 2015 dinner in Moscow sponsored by Russian television network RT with Russian President Vladimir Putin.”:https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/green-party-candidate-says-shes-cooperating-in-russia-probe/2017/12/19/cc112666-e4d1-11e7-927a-e72eac1e73b6_story.html

“Stein says her involvement in the inquiry, first reported by BuzzFeed News, came as a surprise when her campaign was first contacted last month. After a subsequent dialogue between attorneys representing Stein and lawyers from the Senate Intelligence Committee, the former candidate received a formal request for cooperation. Although she says the possibility of testifying before Congress has not yet been broached, Stein says she would be “happy to do so” if asked. Still, Stein clearly resents the Senate’s attention vis-à-vis electoral interference and foreign meddling: “This smacks of the dangerous underbelly of these investigations. The extent to which they exercise overreach, politicizing, and sensationalism is a danger to democracy, especially in the current climate of all-out war on our First Amendment rights. This is not a time to be attacking the rights of political speech and political association.””:https://theintercept.com/2017/12/18/jill-stein-will-hand-over-russia-related-communications-to-senate-commmittee/

So while the Kremlin placed its main bet in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Republican candidate Donald Trump, it placed a side bet on Jill Stein. When Donald Trump deflects accusations that Putin is a killer by saying “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”, Stein echoes Trump and defensively says, “Yeah, Russia is doing lots of human rights abuse, but you know what? So are we.” When Trump declared President Obama to be the “founder of ISIS,” Stein agreed that “we created ISIS.” The number of examples where Stein and Trump echo one another is too large to document.

Guess Who Came to Dinner With Flynn and Putin – NBC News // It was a (red) star-studded affair, the December 2015 dinner celebrating the 10th birthday of Russian TV network RT. At a luxe Moscow hotel, President Vladimir Putin and a host of Russian luminaries toasted a state-backed news channel that U.S. intelligence calls a Kremlin mouthpiece. And next to Putin at the head table, in the seat of honor, was an American. Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who would later become Donald Trump’s national security adviser, was already advising Trump’s presidential campaign when he was paid $45,000 to speak at the gala. “It is not coincidence that Flynn was placed next to President Putin,” said Michael McFaul, U.S. ambassador in Moscow from 2012 to 2014 and now an NBC News analyst. “Flynn was considered a close Trump adviser. Why else would they want him there?” Flynn’s Moscow jaunt, like his oddly timed phone chats with the Russian ambassador, has been well reported. But who else came to dinner on Dec. 10, 2015? An NBC News review of video and photos from the RT gala shows a healthy serving of ex-spies, cronies and oligarchs, with a side of friendly journalists and another American. Flynn was one of 10 people at the head table, including the Kremlin’s top leadership. Three of the Russians, including Putin, were under U.S. sanctions at the time for their role in Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

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