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CIA Director Pompeo’s latest conspiracy theory: Venezuela crisis because of RUSSIA!

He also falsely accused Iran, Cuba and the Lebanese party Hezbollah of operating in Venezuela.

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For most people, the Venezuela crisis is about the political tensions between the popularly elected socialist President Nicolas Maduro and the legislature which backs him, the Constituent Assembly. The executive and Constituent Assembly are in conflict with the pro-US National Assembly whose powers have been reduced after Venezuela’s Supreme Court discovered voting irregularities in the 2015 election. Because of this protesters who are strongly backed and funded by the United States and US based NGOs have been engaged in violent protests and even a small terrorist operation against the government.

But CIA Director Mike Pompeo feels otherwise. For him it is because of RUSSIA,  CUBA, IRAN and HEZBOLLAH!

In a recent interview, Pompeo stated,

“Venezuela could very much become a risk for the United States of America. The Cubans are there; the Russians are there, the Iranians, Hezbollah are there. This is something that has a risk of getting to a very very bad place, so America needs to take this very seriously”.

Let’s break down this patent absurdity point by point.

1. Russia 

Russia has healthy, normal relations with Venezuela. In October of 2016, the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro awarded President Putin the first ever Hugo Chavez Peace Prize.

Russia and Venezuela are both energy producers, but unlike Venezuela, Russia is not in OPEC. Apart from that, Russia maintains an embassy in Caracas and normal bilateral relations.

2. Cuba 

Although the Marxist-Leninism of the Castros is not identical to the Bolivarian Socialism of Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, Cuba has tended to give strong political backing to a fellow left-wing country. Cuba no longer has a Russian military base on its soil but it does still have a very controversial US base at Guantanamo Bay.

Cuba maintains good fraternal relations with Venezuela, but Cuba is in no position to assist Venezuela even if it wanted to. Venezuela due to its oil is a far richer country than the small island of Cuba.

3. Iran 

Iran and Venezuela maintain healthy bilateral relations. Both states are members of OPEC and both states have frequently been the target of US military threats.

Iran’s military however limits itself to the Middle East where it is fighting terrorism in Syria at the behest of the Syrian government.

There is no contingent of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Caracas and there probably never will be. The only Iranians in Venezuela are those in the embassy as well as the occasional international businessman.

4. Hezbollah 

The Lebanese political party Hezbollah has literally nothing to do with Venezuela. Hezbollah is not an international organisation but a Lebanese one whose armed resistance wing primarily acts to secure southern Lebanon and has more recently helped Syria in its fight against groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.

The only remote connection between Venezuela and Lebanon is the fact that Tareck El Aissami, the current Vice President of Venezuela has a Lebanese mother and a Syrian father.

His Druze father was involved in the secular socialist Ba’ath party in the Middle East but not with the primarily Shi’a group Hezbollah.

Apart from this, Venezuela’s connection to the Middle East is limited to the fact that the Venezuelan left strongly supporters Palestine.

Mike Pompeo has yet again shown his penchant for wild conspiracies.

His previous conspiracy theories include stating that Russia rigged the elections in the US where Barack Obama won, that Julian Assange would have been a Nazi in a past life, RT and Sputnik prevent Russia from going to war and this is bad, RT runs Wikileaks.

READ MORE: 5 weird conspiracy theories from CIA Director Mike Pompeo

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VeeNarian (Yerevan)
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VeeNarian (Yerevan)

“He also falsely accused Iran, Cuba and the Lebanese party Hezbollah of operating in Venezuela.” Wott!!! Surely, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah should not disappoint the Pompous CIA a….. hole? As a sovereign country, Venezuela has the right to call for support from any allies, especially after Trump threatened them with military intervention. It will be then up to those allies to see if they can come to its aid. How else will the rampant US military threat be countered? Or does Maduro want to share the fate of Saddam, Gaddafi and what they had planned for Assad? What the Pompous… Read more »

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Ah, but we know the “story” behind this moron’s back, don’t we.
What this troublemaker actually means is that it is Venezuela own fault that is in trouble with US because she is not handing over its resources and sovereignty to the private company US Inc.
That is all.

VeeNarian (Yerevan)
Guest
VeeNarian (Yerevan)

Precisely! It is the God-given right of the US to exploit and have access to all resources in their God’s Earth. Why don’t the rest of the world get that message?
Racism, exceptionalism and imperialism. I hope Venezuela calls on allies before they become another Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iraq etc…

tom
Guest
tom

Yes, all the people who refuse to do exactly what they are told by Washington, immediately, must hate America. And they are all in league together because they HATE OUR FREEDOMS.

Psychological projection is being superscaled here.

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

And yet, it was Trump himself who handpicked this moron. The current POTUS should realize that if he wants to show strength then he must go after the powerful vested interests in Washington and within the US in general and not after other countries that have not threatened his. This childish display of international machoism is a failed policy and one that damages his presidency as well.

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

Trump was ordered to pick Pompeo, because this moron was too stupid to get in the way.

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

Remember what happened to Kennedy when he wanted to rain in the CIA?

Suzanne Giraud
Guest
Suzanne Giraud

to rein in

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

Thanks for the edit :-))

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

I assume you refer to Kennedy’s attempt to ‘rein’ in the CIA. Well, he tried to work on that and other endeavours which would divert the US from its imperialist course and he paid the price. But what is your point? That Trump should simply betray his promises and opt for supposedly easy solutions? He’s already down this road and his opponents still want him out. Meanwhile, his policies are a compete mesh.

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

Thanks for the edit :-))
My point is that he is not in charge…Pretending that he is will result in him being stopped one way or the other. This seems to have been pointed out to him already. Trump is entirely unfamiliar with politics and lacks the curiosity to learn. He behaves like a 9-year old tweeting the greatest nonsense that keeps the whole world entertained, but he does NOTHING for this country. Schultz (Germany) considers Trump a danger to this country and a threat to world peace.He is an embarrassment to the office of President….

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

Well, I’m not going to defend Trumps’ current policies or behaviour. My point is that he should have done his best to fight the good fight and he didn’t. In the case of Pompeo, he picked an idiotic ignoramus. In any case, I agree with much of what you said.

An interesting note: plenty of Trump supporters in Breitbart take Pompeo’s statement as some sort of revelation that validates Trump’s threat to use military options against Venezuela. So much about the clearheaded attitude of American ”conservatives” vs the ”liberals”…

Hamletquest
Guest
Hamletquest

Is there something about the Americancas where there is a idiocy quotient? The more important you are the more stupid things you say and the more you think other people are stupid like you?

cap960
Guest
cap960

But of course… it’s Russia’s fault. American sanctions of Venezuela are just there to help the people.

Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

If the Russians hadn’t polluted the precious bodily fluids of American politicians they wouldn’t have placed sanctions on Venezuela.

cap960
Guest
cap960

What you are saying Americans are “pussies” need to go after weaker countries. It’s always about Russia with Americans.

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

Have to hurry, sorry. — Just googled “Pompeo Venezuela.” One hit http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/08/13/cia-director-mike-pompeo-iran-hezbollah-venezuela/ containing the full interview with Fox. The Company — a.k.a. “the world’s premier intelligence agency” and a.k.a. with the most “exquisite” intelligence and analysts — is cooking up a case for both humanitarian intervention and self-defense. Review the comments: Mike’s Iran- Hezbollah, Russia BS is serious, i.e., he is serious about spicing his dish with this flimsy connecto stuff. And the arms cashes falling into the “wrong hands”, e.g. FARC and the Venezuelan VP a drug dealer….

dave3200
Guest
dave3200

As a member of the deep state and proponent of the military-industrial complex, Pompeo is anxious to promote conflict anywhere he can find it. He’s a liar, just like most of his associates in the U.S. “intelligence” community. As is the case with Nikki Haley, it is hard to imagine Trump selecting Pompeo without undue influence from somewhere. He’s certainly not someone who would support Trump’s stated mission.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

What is “Trump’s mission”? He failed to keep his word made to his followers “I’ll never betray you”. He promised to be only the president of the USA, not to pretend to be president of the world. He promised to stop “all the stupid wars”, and in one week he threatened three more countries with military interventions, while far from stopping the stupid war in Afghanistan, he’s sending more thousands troops there. Check out his promises and see how many he renounced, and how many he reversed. About NATO, during the campaign “I said it was obsolete” Trump said. After… Read more »

dave3200
Guest
dave3200

Daisy, Trump has not committed to sending more troops to Afghanistan. You might want to read this: https://morningconsult.com/2017/08/14/voters-pessimistic-afghanistan-trump-weighs-boosting-troops/

Regarding NATO and his threats of military action, I’m in full agreement with you.

As for his accomplishment of campaign promises, this article outlines many of them:
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/07/president-trumps-first-six-months-are-historical-with-stock-market-on-fire-and-americans-hopeful-that-america-will-be-great-again/

Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

A policy of loosing the war in Afghanistan is a bad idea. The US needs to convince the Taliban that they will get bombed until they agree not support terrorists. That deal could have been done in the first month of the war. They don’t enjoy getting bombed and were not interested in attacking us before we attacked them. It might be possible now because the Taliban is fighting ISIS.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

Vladimir Putin was right concerning America, when he said presidents and governments change, but US politics remains the same. Bad administration yesterday=Bad administration today.
Republican presidents continued democrat presidents’ wars and vice-versa. The propaganda transmitted from one to another – intact. I guess it’s genetic by now (or contagious?).

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Daisy, IMO it is correct and it is the ‘Deep State running the US Inc.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

‘Democratic election” is the biggest scam of the establishment to enslave the people, by making them believe they have a choice.

Wayne Blow
Guest
Wayne Blow

Do they have any people with power in the US that aren’t totally NUTS, this idiot tops the whole Washington litter, moron!!!!

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

Some other idiots preceded him , the Bushes, Clintons and Obama.
As Oscar Wilde said “America is the only country who jumped from barbarism to decadence, without civilization in between”.

Herbert Dorsey
Guest
Herbert Dorsey

And this is what passes for intelligence! I say fire them all!

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

If you like to do this on that bases then the whole lot will be gone.😀

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Pompeo went on to say Big Foot stole his favorite socks, because of Russia.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

These people are so full of it…I feel like puking every time.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Mike Pompino – Scaramouche’s older and not much wiser Mafia bruddah.

Wayne Blow
Guest
Wayne Blow

Just another totally out to lunch “nut-bar”, where do they find these idiots???

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

“He has just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wants to eat, but certainly no more.”
― P.G. Wodehouse

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

“Venezuela could very much become a risk for the United States of America”

I think that the biggest risk for USA come from … Virgin Islands and Micronesia
“Two things are infinite: the Universe and the human stupidity; and I’m not so sure about the Universe.”― Albert Einstein

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Re. Albert E.
IMO it actually was Mrs. Einstein. She was the Brains behind him.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

Common. Einstein had an IQ of 160.

opereta
Guest
opereta

Pompeo is just a straw man. Now a days, even the position of CIA Director has to be covered by a false entity, nobody in good mental health would accept the risk of being a fall man. Kim Jong-un has more legitimacy than this specimen

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

Pompeo, another schizophrenic…
All he has to do is stop funding the opposition in Venezuela which the CIA has done for the past 19 years. It’s not working.

Boris Kazlov
Guest
Boris Kazlov

CIA = Complete Idiocy Agency

Suzanne Giraud
Guest
Suzanne Giraud

hmmm… Is there a Mount Vesuvius in D.C.?

Shahna
Guest

Well, it is – from his pov.
US is trying so hard, so really really HARD, to make another war and it’s failing EVERYWHERE!
But hey – they still had lil Venezuela – “We can go war VENEZUELA!”

Then that spoilsport Sergey (my favourite teddy bear) said ………… NO.
So … no war … not even in Venny!

Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

It’s Russia’s fault that Mike Pompeo has piles.

Latest

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Liberal Scorned: The Media Turns on Facebook and Google

Facebook and Google are profit-maximizing quasi-monopolies who will do anything to protect their monopolies.

The Duran

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Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog:


Here’s the ugly truth: Facebook and Google are profit-maximizing quasi-monopolies who will do anything to protect their monopolies.

Of the many remarkable trend changes of the past year, few are more striking than the fawning embrace of Facebook et al. by Big Media turning to an enraged sense of betrayal. Facebook and Google–by their own self-definitions, shining beacons of liberalism and goodness (we’re not evil, we’re fantabulous!)– were viewed by the famously liberal Big Media as allies in the fight against Trump, illiberalism, populism, deglobalization, etc.

Now, to their horror, Big Media has discovered that not only did their Big Tech sweethearts betray their affection and trust, they’re just another bunch of predatory profit-maximizing monopolies who will stab anyone and everyone in the back who gets in their way to higher profits and more power.

It would be sad if it wasn’t so pathetic. Poor Big Media, so anxious to be hip and with it, so anxious to impress social media while trying to exploit its reach to prop up their own dying business model. Big Media, so easily seduced by Big Tech: we’re liberal, too, and together we’ll lead the world out of darkness into light, blah blah blah.

Then Big Media discovered its virtue-signaling liberal sweetheart, Big Tech, is just as threatened by liberals as by conservatives, and it turns its firepower on liberals with the same savage abandon as it does on independent and conservative media.

The bitter rage of the previously besotted and now betrayed suitor is evident in these recent articles in The Atlantic, New York Times and Washington Post, all bastions of virtue-signaling self-righteous defense of the state-cartel Empire, a.k.a. liberalism.

When the Tech Mythology Collapses (The Atlantic)
Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis (NY Times)
How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’ (NY Times)
It’s time to start regulating Facebook (Washington Post)

The high dudgeon of WaPo is especially amusing to those us blacklisted by the faux-liberal Washington Post’s witch-hunting promotion of a bogus list of “Russian propaganda” sites in 2016. As I noted recently, some observers suspect Facebook is using this same baseless, fact-free libelous list in its shadow banning of independent journalists and commentators.

That Facebook would stick a knife in neoliberal globalist George Soros (gasp!) to mask its calumny might have been an eye-opener for the enamored liberals who foolishly believed the facile PR of Facebook, Google et al. Nobody’s more offended that the chump who falls for the obvious scam, a scam that any streetwise person would have spotted a mile away.

Big Media so desperately wanted a partner in its faux-liberal virtue-signaling that it overlooked the abundant evidence that Facebook and Google are only interested in reaping billions of dollars in ever greater concentrations of wealth and power. These are corporations, after all, and just like the corporations that own Big Media, maximizing profits is their sole raison d’etre, self-congratulatory preening claims of public service wonderfulness aside.

Here’s the ugly truth: Facebook and Google are profit-maximizing quasi-monopolies who will do anything to protect their monopolies. Just like all the other monopolies that had to be busted up to protect the public from their predatory power.

I just received this email from the Wall Street Journal: the Big media war on Facebook just opened a new front, and it looks like a take-no-prisoners conflict now:

With Facebook Under Siege, Zuckerberg Adopts More Aggressive Style

Mark Zuckerberg gathered roughly 50 of his top lieutenants earlier this year and told them that Facebook was at war and he planned to lead the company accordingly.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s new approach is causing unprecedented turmoil atop Facebook, driving several key executives from the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

I’ve written a lot about these issues: here’s a selection of recent essays:

Are Facebook and Google the New Colonial Powers? September 18, 2017
The Demise of Dissent: Why the Web Is Becoming Homogenized November 17, 2017
Addictions: Social Media & Mobile Phones Fall From Grace November 24, 2017
Should Facebook, Google and Twitter Be Public Utilities? March 5, 2018
Is Profit-Maximizing Data-Mining Undermining Democracy? March 19, 2018
The Blowback Against Facebook, Google and Amazon Is Just Beginning April 27, 2018
Shadow Banning Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: We’re All Digital Ghosts Now October 27, 2018


My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition.

Read the first section for free in PDF format.

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

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The Only Regime Change that Is Needed Is in Washington

The only regime change that is needed is in Washington and it would include Jeffrey, Bolton, Haley, Pompeo, and Miller.

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Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Ron Paul Institute:


Secretary Pompeo officiates the Swearing-In Ceremony for Ambassador James F. Jeffrey. Image credit: U.S. Department of State/ flickr)

One of the things to look forward to in the upcoming holiday season is the special treats that one is allowed to sample. Fruitcake and nuts are Thanksgiving and Christmas favorites. They usually come in tins or special packages but it seems that this season some of the nuts have escaped and have fled to obtain sanctuary from the Trump Administration.

Currently, there is certainly a wide range of nuts available on display in the West Wing. There is the delicate but hairy Bolton, which has recently received the coveted “Defender of Israel” award, and also the robust Pompeo, courageously bucking the trend to overeat during the holidays by telling the Iranian people that they should either surrender or starve to death. And then there is the always popular Haley, voting audaciously to give part of Syria to Israel as a holiday treat.

But my vote for the most magnificent nut in an Administration that is overflowing with such talent would be the esteemed United States Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey. The accolade is in part due to the fact that Jeffrey started out relatively sane as a career diplomat with the State Department, holding ambassadorships in Iraq, Turkey, and Albania. He had to work hard to become as demented as he now is but was helped along the way by signing on as a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), which is a spin-off of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Jeffrey set the tone for his term of office shortly after being appointed back in August when he argued that the Syrian terrorists were “. . . not terrorists, but people fighting a civil war against a brutal dictator.” Jeffrey, who must have somehow missed a lot of the head chopping and rape going on, subsequently traveled to the Middle East and stopped off in Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It has been suggested that Jeffrey received his marching orders during the visit.

James Jeffrey has been particularly active during this past month.  On November 7th he declared that he would like to see Russia maintain a “permissive approach” to allowing the Israelis to attack Iranian targets inside Syria.  Regarding Iran’s possible future role in Syria, he observed that “Iranians are part of the problem not part of the solution.”

What Jeffrey meant was that because Israel had been “allowed” to carry out hundreds of air attacks in Syria ostensibly directed against Iran-linked targets, the practice should be permitted to continue. Israel had suspended nearly all of its airstrikes in the wake of the shoot-down of a Russian aircraft in September, an incident which Moscow has blamed on Israel even though the missile that brought down the plane was fired by Syria. Fifteen Russian servicemen were killed. Israel reportedly was deliberately using the Russian plane to mask the presence of its own aircraft.

Russia responded to the incident by deploying advanced S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Syria, which can cover most of the more heavily developed areas of the country. Jeffrey was unhappy with that decision, saying “We are concerned very much about the S-300 system being deployed to Syria. The issue is at the detail level. Who will control it? what role will it play?” And he defended his own patently absurd urging that Russia, Syria’s ally, permit Israel to continue its air attacks by saying “We understand the existential interest and we support Israel” because the Israeli government has an “existential interest in blocking Iran from deploying long-range power projection systems such as surface-to-surface missiles.”

On November 15th James Jeffrey was at it again, declaring that U.S. troops will not leave Syria before guaranteeing the “enduring defeated” of ISIS, but he perversely put the onus on Syria and Iran, saying that “We also think that you cannot have an enduring defeat of ISIS until you have fundamental change in the Syrian regime and fundamental change in Iran’s role in Syria, which contributed greatly to the rise of ISIS in the first place in 2013, 2014.”

As virtually no one but Jeffrey and the Israeli government actually believes that Damascus and Tehran were responsible for creating ISIS, the ambassador elaborated, blaming President Bashar al-Assad for the cycle of violence in Syria that, he claimed, allowed the development of the terrorist group in both Syria and neighboring Iraq.

He said “The Syrian regime produced ISIS. The elements of ISIS in the hundreds, probably, saw an opportunity in the total breakdown of civil society and of the upsurge of violence as the population rose up against the Assad regime, and the Assad regime, rather than try to negotiate or try to find any kind of solution, unleashed massive violence against its own population.”

Jeffrey’s formula is just another recycling of the myth that the Syrian opposition consisted of good folks who wanted to establish democracy in the country. In reality, it incorporated terrorist elements right from the beginning and groups like ISIS and the al-Qaeda affiliates rapidly assumed control of the violence. That Jeffrey should be so ignorant or blinded by his own presumptions to be unaware of that is astonishing. It is also interesting to note that he makes no mention of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, knee-jerk support for Israel and the unrelenting pressure on Syria starting with the Syrian Accountability Act of 2003 and continuing with the embrace of the so-called Arab Spring. Most observers believe that those actions were major contributors to the rise of ISIS.

Jeffrey’s unflinching embrace of the Israeli and hardline Washington assessment of the Syrian crisis comes as no surprise given his pedigree, but in the same interview where he pounded Iran and Syria, he asserted oddly that “We’re not about regime change. We’re about a change in the behavior of a government and of a state.”

Actually, the only regime change that is needed is in Washington and it would include Jeffrey, Bolton, Haley, Pompeo, and Miller. And while we’re at it, get rid of son-in-law Jared Kushner and his claque of Orthodox Jews, Jason Greenblatt the “peace negotiator” and David Friedman the U.S. Ambassador in Israel. None of them are capable of acting to advance any American national interest, which they wouldn’t recognize even if it hit them in the butt. Once they are gone the U.S. can bid the Middle East goodbye and leave its constituent nations to sort out their own problems. Jeffrey’s ridiculous prescriptions for the Syrians and Russians are symptomatic of what one gets from a team of yes-men who have latched onto some dystopic ideas and pursued them relentlessly, blinded by what they believe to be American power. Someone should tell them that their antics have made that power a commodity that is dramatically depreciating in value, but it is clear that they are not listening.

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‘Iron’ Mike Pence Stares-Down Putin In APEC Showdown

Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor John Bolton were seen shaking hands and chatting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Singapore.

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Via Zerohedge


Forget the All-Blacks ‘Haka’, ignore Foreman-Frasier, Drago-Balboa, and Ortiz-Liddell, the honor of the greatest (or perhaps most awkward) staredown in history now goes to US Vice President Mike Pence…

Having been blamed for everything from Trump’s election victory to USA soccer team’s loss to England last week, Russia faced accusations all weekend and was reportedly confronted by the US contingent over “meddling.”

As The Sun reports, Pence and Putin “discussed the upcoming G20 Summit and touched on the issues that will be discussed when President Trump and President Putin are both in Argentina for the summit,” according to the vice president’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah.

An NBC reporter tweeted: “New per the @VP’s Office—> The VP’s office says Vice President Pence directly addressed Russian meddling in the 2016 election in a conversation with Vladimir Putin on Thursday in Singapore.

“The conversation took place following the plenary session this afternoon at ASEAN.”

But, it was the following clash of the titans that caught most people’s attention.

As the Russian president joined the that Pence shook Putin’s ‘deadly’ hand, met his ‘steely KGB-trained’ gaze, and desperately tried not to smile or blink for 20 seconds as Putin appeared to chat amicably with the US VP…

While Putin has (if his accusers are to be believed) grappled his opponents to death with his bare hands (remember he is a sinister KGB agent and jiu-jitsu expert); we suspect the only thing VP Pence has gripped tightly in his hands is his bible.

Sadly, John Bolton then blew the tough guy act (or is he Mike Pence’s ‘good cop’) as he does his best impression of a teenage girl meeting their popstar idol for the first time…

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