Jill Stein Explains Putin Picture Once & For All - Jimmy Dore Show

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Jimmy Dore:  Hi everybody, welcome to the Jimmy Dore Show. You know, we did a video about this, we talked about this already, the smearing that's happening to progressives, right? So if you’re - it’s traditional, right, this is what they did to get rid of the unions, right? So they would send an FBI guy to the schools, he'd want the union leader, they'd blacklist him, and so after World War II, that's how the industrialists got over. And so they're doing this now, the corporatists are doing this, they're smearing anybody to their left, and it happens to us on this show because we ask for evidence in the red scare that is happening. We ask for evidence, people go: “Oh you must be - that sounds like something a Putin bot would say, they ask for evidence too.” I go [laughing] “I thought that’s what we…”

Anyway, so you see stuff like this: there’s a guy with a blue [Twitter] check, he must be important, so he tweets out: “Jill Stein is a Russian agent.” He's retweeting a scoop: the Senate Russian investigation is now looking into Jill Stein, a former campaign staffer  says - Buzzfeed - and so he retweets it, says it 10 times, because that makes it true if you say it 10 times. Who is that guy Zac? Well he is a former 2016 Hillary Clinton director of rapid response! [laughing] Oh my god! So it's full blown McCarthyism, no doubt, no one - they're not even - all you have to do is get asked to appear in front of a Senate committee and that's enough. You're it, it’s all over with. Glenn Greenwald caught that and he said: “Congress asks for docs to see if there's a connection between Jill Stein's campaign and Russia. There's zero evidence there is. Yet the mere Congressional inquiry has instantly prompted declarations of guilt and treason like this. Just please don't call the climate McCarthyite.”

And here's Max Blumenthal, and he says: “Led by Diane Feinstein, Democrats are exploiting Russiagate to eliminate the political opposition to their left. The innuendo spread against Stein and the Green Party contains all the classical elements of McCarthyism.” And one more from Glenn Greenwald, he says: “Click on “Jill Stein” that's trending and you’ll see countless leading Democrats - with large platforms -   strongly implying if not outright stating she's a Kremlin agent: all because of a Congressional inquiry. They couldn't better replicate McCarthyism if they tried.”

Now I just want to, before we bring on Jill to talk about this, and before I do I want to remind everybody that this would be more of a joke if it wasn't so seriously being pushed by everyone in the establishment media and the major political parties,   because  just a couple of years ago: [plays clip of 2012 presidential debate]

Barack Obama: Governor Romney, I'm glad that you recognize that Al Qaeda is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. Not Al Qaeda, you said Russia.

And the 1980s are now calling asking for their foreign policy back, because the cold war has been over for twenty years. But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy you seem to want to import the foreign policy of the 1980s."   

Jimmy: Remember when Barack Obama used to make fun of Mitt Romney? Remember that? He did deliver that joke pretty well though, by the way - he did nail that joke.

This is from Jeremy Scahill, he says: “Regardless of what people think of Jill Stein or the Green Party, this Senate investigation sets a dangerous precedent. As does the lionization of the FBI, Comey and Mueller. Very short-sighted. It will all come back around.”

Please welcome our guest, former presidential candidate of the Green Party Jill Stein is here with us to talk about all this with us. Hello, thanks for being on with us.

Jill Stein: Great to be with you. Thank you so much, Jimmy, for being a lone voice in the wilderness here and speaking truth to power for so long. You always do, and on this issue too.

Jimmy: Well, I appreciate you giving me a chance in the last election to vote against Goldman Sachs, and to vote against more war, to vote against more fracking, and to vote against Silicon Valley and Big Pharma. It was really nice to have an outlet to do that. I love the Green New Deal, everybody loves the Green New Deal - I mean everybody who's awake and wants to move the country forward and believes in science actually, so thank you for doing that. I just always like to thank you - because no more can I give my vote to corporatist warmongers.

We just saw the Democrats go along with Donald Trump's bloated military budget, right? I guess they gave him an extra 80 billion dollars, which by the way could have paid for  everybody's free college and could've gotten rid of the student debt, but John Oliver will tell you that's impossible, right? So anyway, please explain to me - everybody shows this picture of you, I'll put it up - this picture of you sitting at a table with Putin, and of course that means that you and everybody else in that room is a Putin agent, right?

Jill: [laughing] Yeah, and we've only gone on the record on this many, many times and really tried to get the attention of the press to clarify what was going on. For the past year or so we have been smeared with this factless photograph that's been used to basically establish a presumption of guilt, because there I was at a table that showed for that moment that Vladimir Putin was there, and General Flynn was there. There were like 11, 12 people at that table - there were a number of diplomats from other countries,  from Germany, from the Czech Republic, and then there were a bunch of Russians who walked in very late - Putin and three or four of his inner circle came in well into the dinner, maybe an hour or so into the dinner, and they were there very briefly before he  gave a speech in Russian. When they came in I thought they must be his bodyguards. It  turns out, no, they were his inner circle - his head of communications, policy, things like that, but you never would have known that because nobody was introduced to anybody.  There were no names exchanged, there was no interpreter, there was no discussion.

And then he quickly went around the table, shook everybody's hand - I think even without eye contact - it was just boom, boom, boom around the table, and then they left. So there was absolutely nothing meaningful that took place between myself and Putin. I didn't observe Flynn talk to Putin, and I read in an investigative report done by the New Yorker last February that had interviewed the Czech Republic diplomat that was sitting next to Flynn, the only guy at the table who spoke both English and Russian, he translated the conversation between Flynn, so he said, the conversation between Flynn and Putin, and that conversation - to paraphrase it - was: "How ya doin'?" "OK."  That was their discussion.

Jimmy: So you're telling me that you went to Russia now for this conference - did Putin pay for everything?

Jill: Nothing.

Jimmy:  Oh, he didn't pay for anything, so you paid your own way. You’re at a conference, you're sitting next to German diplomats - correct me if I'm wrong, Germany is an ally of the United States, correct?

Jill: I think so, yes!

Jimmy: So there were other news organizations at this thing? Who else was there?

Jill: So, this was a real, legitimate conference. I was invited to participate in a panel addressing, basically, foreign policy - a panel entitled “Frenemies”.  Frenemies - get it?  Friends, enemies, which are we? A panel which was not about this black and white, who’s the good guy, who’s the bad guy, but rather who are we to each other, how do we figure this out and how do we communicate? It was actually an interesting discussion, I thought, and valuable. I was invited to be a part of that discussion and to be there for this 10-year conference because I, like so many others - dissidents, peace advocates,  anti-fracking advocates, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street - we get heard, regrettably, on RT and very few other stations because RT is open to a variety of opinions, including from the far right and the far left, and because corporate media is not.

The RT 10-year anniversary was like a who's who of the peace community: Rocky Anderson, Jesse Ventura, Max Blumenthal, Ray McGovern - you know the civil liberties advocate for whistleblowers - and so on. It was a really wonderful conference, full of really compelling stuff, and it is all up on the web! And besides, we put out press releases about it, we put out emails to raise the money in order to go there. All of this is public record, all of this is public information. Yet we have been smeared ever since the Trump Dossier, which it has only recently emerged was guess what? A Democratic Party piece of opposition research. We get smeared there, not only smeared, but falsely accused - libelously accused, you could say - of being funded by Russians, not specifically just the Russian trip, it just says generically that my campaign was sponsored by the Kremlin. That the Kremlin was sponsoring me.

And so this becomes then the conventional wisdom, that I am being sponsored by the Kremlin. So what is it about this Trump Dossier? It has absolutely been discredited. Well, this is one of those things that told me from the beginning that this was not a well-researched document, because they were saying things that were completely false about my campaign about which there was public record. You didn't have to go digging in order to find that I had raised the money, and I thanked my donors during and after from emails, press releases and videos that were made in real time as part of this trip.

Jimmy: So the meeting at the conference that you sat at a table with president Vladimir Putin, you don't speak Russian, they weren't even introduced to you, you paid for your trip, there's lots of other people there... By the way, there was, I don't know if people remember, there was a thing called the “Russian reset” where we were actually working with Russia, we were their friends. It isn't until most recently when it became to an electoral advantage to bring up the red scare again, that we’re not supposed to be friends with Russia again. And that's what this is all about.  

I’ve shown on this show many times, Putin used to go fishing up in Kennebunkport with the Bushes, and they loved him, right? And George Bush said he looked into his soul. Remember that? I remember that. And that he was a good soul. Again, this is all… people who didn’t live through the first red scare, like I didn't, I felt like I'd never get a chance to experience one again, so I feel lucky that I get to feel what it's like to live through an Orwellian nightmare like this that's actually happening, where most of the people are victims of propaganda. People don't also know that the CIA can now do propaganda on us.

So that meeting - it's all garbage when people do that. That is just guilt by association. “I have a picture of Jill Stein with Putin - oh my God!” I have a picture of Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, the Bushes, everybody with Putin. So that's just garbage. And then when you ask people... So now you're being put on the defensive, where you have to now somehow defend Donald Trump, where they’re like “don't you think Trump did this?” Like, what the F does this have to do with you?

Jill Stein: Yeah.

Jimmy: It doesn't have anything to do with you, but you're made to - you have to defend the crimes of the Trump administration for some reason. Why is that happening?

Jill: Well, you know, there is an element of this which is all about discrediting independent political opposition. And guess what? It is not only coming from the Democrats, it's also coming from the Republicans. The committee that is, in its wisdom,  and I say that sarcastically, that has decided to investigate me, is led by Republicans. So there's benefit here all around, as Glenn Greenwald said, the Democrats get to validate their Russian hysteria, and the Republicans get to show that they investigated  somebody besides Donald Trump. Word has it that they are about to investigate Hillary Clinton as well.

So it's a complex mix, as politics always is, but let me say I am trying to be an adult in the room here, in a roomful of shady characters and ulterior motives and sensationalism and a politicized investigation. And abysmal journalistic standards for covering this - basically deliver a bombshell of wow, you know, we just blew this up about Donald Trump, he's clearly going to be hung around this factoid, and the factoid melts down over the course of the next couple of days, and no apologies are issued, no retractions are issued.

But let me also say, trying to be the adult in the room here, that Americans like you and me and everybody else out there have enormous anxiety, anguish, and despair about our political system, which has lost our confidence and our trust. According to a poll done last spring, even before the election, an AP-NORC poll said that 90% of Americans state that they have lost confidence in our political system. And if I can add  parenthetically, Gallup has tracked confidence in our political system in the executive, judiciary, media, Congress, etc. over decades, and guess what it tracks with? People have confidence in the political system when they feel like it's about them. When they feel like the driving force is the few powerful special interests, the big corporations, the fossil fuel companies and the banks, the war industry - when they feel like it's being run on behalf of the powerful few, then people lose confidence in government. Which says to me and should say to all of us, that we don't solve this by digging in here as Democrats and Republicans, because it's a bipartisan brawl. They're going to get to the bottom of it and solve it.

At the same time, I support inquiring about money laundering, about quid pro quo   deals, about violations of campaign finance laws, etc. Let's do it! But let's do it in a real way. And it's not just interference by one particular foreign power. I would say interference by Les Moonves and CBS, that said Trump may be horrible for America but he sure is good for us, and then they pour - they and other big corporate media pour 4 billion dollars into Trump, twice as much as they did for Clinton, which was twice as much as they did for Sanders, which was about 1000 times as much, at least, as they did for us. I'd say that's interference! I'd say striking hundreds of thousands of people off the voters rolls - that is interference. Voter ID laws that keep millions of people from voting - that is interference.

What we really need here, and which I will soon be calling for in a formal way, is a true commission on election integrity, probably a people's commission on election integrity, that will actually address these many ways in which real democratic elections have been interfered with, because to single out one doesn't solve the problem and it sort of enables the disappearance of all the other aspects in which elections are interfered with. So this is a valid issue. I'm supporting the investigation. I need daylight shone on my case and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to clear the record and clear the air on it. There is value in this, but it's a very mixed bag which has been tainted by politicizing, sensationalizing, and all the rest, and now scapegoating.

Jimmy: Well, it's just weird for me to see it happen in my lifetime, you know. You're an environmentalist and you committed the crime of wanting to participate in democracy, and apparently you are not allowed to do that anymore. And if you do, you're going to be smeared hard from everybody - and people who consider themselves on the left also smear you. It's crazy.

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  • published this page in News 2018-02-20 09:33:25 -0500