Russian officials have given a withering response over the course of the day to the Washington Post’s story that US President Donald Trump leaked “highly classified information” to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during their recent meeting in the Oval Office.
I have discussed this story and explained why it is a cynical attempt to spin a standard diplomatic exchange into something sinister here.
First off was Russian President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who is reported to have said this
This is not a theme for us. It’s nonsense. We do not want to have anything to do with this nonsense. This is utter nonsense. It is not something to either confirm or deny.
The more cogent comment was however made by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s redoubtable spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in an interview with the Kommersant FM radio station
It is part of the campaign which began before the US presidential election and has been going on since then. This is another attempt to exert pressure on the new US administration and make deals related to various political appointments and lobbying.
We can’t even say now that the media are biased because they are openly fulfilling a political order. The article mentions no evidence, it is based on information received from some sources. Actually, there is a typical pattern concerning the way that such articles come out and the response that they get
(bold italics added)
In saying that this is an attempt to put pressure on the new administration Zakharova is absolutely right. However – as she surely knows – the purpose is not “to make deals related to various political appointments and lobbying”. It is the much more sinister purpose of discrediting Donald Trump personally and of pressuring him into ending his attempts to forge a better relationship with Russia. Here is what I have written about that
the real agenda behind this story: to discredit Trump in any way possible, and to make impossible any meaningful dialogue between the US and Russian governments which might lead to a possible rapprochement between the US and Russia.
Those who give credence to this story or pretend to are either being manipulated or share this agenda.
I have no doubt the Russians understand this perfectly.