Tags: sergey kislyak | us | russia | ambassador | diplomats | jeff sessions | michael flynn

Former Diplomats, National Security Experts Say Russia Uproar Could Have Repercussions

Image: Former Diplomats, National Security Experts Say Russia Uproar Could Have Repercussions
Sergey Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to the United States. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

By    |   Saturday, 11 Mar 2017 09:01 PM

Former diplomats and national security experts say the Russia situation in Washington is out of control, and the uproar could have repercussions for the U.S. abroad, the Hill reports.  

"I was demonized and called all kinds of things in the Russian press and I don't want Americans to do to (current Russian ambassador Sergey) Kislyak what the Russian government did to me," said Michael McFaul, a former ambassador to Russia. "It's not good for U.S. Russian relations. People should be able to meet with him without fear of being called a double-agent. Throwing around loosely, without documentation, that this person is an intelligence officer is dangerous."

Kislyak is at the center of several controversies involving members of Trump's administration – current and past – as Congress begins investigations into whether Russia influenced the 2016 presidential election and, if so, to what extent.

"It's the usual Washington breathlessness that accompanies any story these days about Trump or the Russians," said John Beyrle, also a former ambassador to Russia. "That doesn't mean there isn't need for an investigation. There is almost no question that there was Russian interference in the election and there needs to be an investigation. But to conclude from all this that Kislyak was somehow a bad actor is missing the target."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to Kislyak in the runup to the election, conversations he didn't reveal during the confirmation process. Kislyak also spoke with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn about U.S. sanctions against Russia, discussions Flynn lied about and, later resigned over.

Kislyak has also been accused of being a Russian spy, with reports noting his attendance at several of Trump's events, including his speech to a joint-session of Congress.

"That's total horse****," Wayne Merry, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council who worked as a U.S. diplomat to Russia, told The Hill. "It's a witch-hunt with paranoia and hysteria at its core. Normally it's the Russians who become paranoid and hysterical. That the conspiracy theories and paranoia is coming from Americans makes me very uncomfortable."

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Former diplomats and national security experts say the Russia situation in Washington is out of control, and the uproar could have repercussions for the U.S. abroad, the Hill reports.
sergey kislyak, us, russia, ambassador, diplomats, jeff sessions, michael flynn
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2017-01-11
Saturday, 11 Mar 2017 09:01 PM
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