Tags: Barack Obama | Russia | Putin | Magnanimous | Obama | Sanctions

Ex-CIA Officer: Putin 'The Only Adult in the Room' Over Sanctions

Image: Ex-CIA Officer: Putin 'The Only Adult in the Room' Over Sanctions

 (AP)

By    |   Monday, 02 Jan 2017 12:32 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin acted with maturity after President Barack Obama ordered diplomats to be expelled from the U.S. over hacking claims against Russia, according to former CIA officer Phillip Giraldi, speaking to the Russian TV network RT.

Giraldi said, "I think Putin behaved like the only adult in the room in terms of his deferring any kind of action as a response to this."

On Thursday, Obama ordered 35 Russian diplomats to be expelled from the U.S. A statement by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Obama administration had not "given up on its hope of dealing one last blow to relations with Russia, which it has already destroyed… we are tired of lies about Russian hackers that continue to be spread in the United States from the very top."

Democrats used the Russian hacking as a political opening, Giraldi said: "There is a broad consensus in the media and in Congress to take steps against Russia, and I think Obama saw an opportunity in this. And apart from closing the options for Donald Trump to create a better relationship with Russia, it also permits the Democrats in particular to argue the election was stolen from them. I think that is a key element in why this is happening."

Russia and the U.S. are also at odds over Israel and the Palestinians, but Giraldi said they must work together.

"Historically it has been a very difficult situation to resolve. But basically, both the United States and Russia have very good relations with Israel. So both the United States and Russia working together for some kind of consensus solution to the Israel-Palestine problem would be much better than either party working alone. The U.S. has been singularly unsuccessful in terms of getting the Israelis to move in terms of the positions they’ve taken. So working with Russia would be a huge advantage to the United States, and I think Donald Trump will have the flexibility to see that," Giraldi said.

The relationship between the two countries has been harmed, according to Giraldi, who said, "I think behind the scenes there is serious damage… So this is something that is very dangerous. I’m hoping that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will have the sense to work together to defuse this."

Writing for Sputnik International in December 2016, Giraldi said that veteran U.S. diplomat Henry Kissinger, an informal adviser to the incoming president, would help Trump repair the U.S.-Russia relationship.

"As a leading realist, he adds credibility to the efforts to repair relations, which makes the ongoing contact valuable," Giraldi said.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin acted with maturity after President Barack Obama ordered diplomats to be expelled from the U.S. over hacking claims against Russia, according to former CIA officer Phillip Giraldi, speaking to the Russian TV network RT....
Putin, Magnanimous, Obama, Sanctions
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2017-32-02
Monday, 02 Jan 2017 12:32 PM
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