Following months of escalating tensions between Trump and James Comey, Russian President Vladimir Putin intervened with an offer for the former FBI Director. At a press conference, Putin offered to give political asylum to Comey.
“If Comey will be under the threat of political persecution, we are ready to accept him here,” Putin said, according to Russian state media outlet TASS.
Putin’s decision to blatantly mock the tension between the President and former FBI Director is evidence of the Russian President’s sense of impunity when it comes to Trump; he knows that, while our President is quick to assail our allies, he will never confront Putin.
Putin even went so far as to liken Comey to Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency leaker. Snowden, of course, is another sore spot in United States-Russian relations, as he was granted asylum in Russia in the face of fierce opposition by the U.S.
“This is strange,” Putin mused. “How then is the director of the FBI any different from Snowden? He is not a head of the special services, but a human rights activist.”
Friction between Trump and Comey reached their peak at last week’s open hearing, in which the former FBI Director testified that Trump had indeed pressured him to “let this go,” referring to the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser Mike Flynn.
Although nearly every American intelligence agency has declared with certainty that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, our “strong” President refuses to acknowledge the obvious. Because Putin helped install Trump, he will never challenge his Russian counterpart. At this point, Putin is not only toying with Trump, but humiliating the United States in the process.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.