US President Donald Trump has called the attacks of the US Democratic Party against Attorney General Jeff Sessions “a witch-hunt.”
“They lost the election and now, they have lost their grip on reality. The real story is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total witch hunt!” Trump said in a statement posted on Facebook.
“Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional,” continued Trump’s statement.
“Trump is repeating Nixon’s mistakes,” reads a headline in Russian national newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets". BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg has a look at this, and some of the other Trump-related headlines in Russia.
One Russian paper has this advice for Donald Trump on what to do about Jeff Sessions: “Don't give up your own guys”. pic.twitter.com/ZMHEgSVHeI— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) March 3, 2017
The Washington Post reported on March 1 that in July and September Sessions spoke twice last year with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
The following day, CNN said that Kislyak “is considered by US intelligence to be one of Russia’s top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington, according to current and former senior US government officials.
Russian officials dispute this characterization.”
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated The Kremlin proceeds from the understanding that no US officials have made any claims to the effect the Russian ambassador in Washington, Sergey Kislyak, may have intelligence links and that all media rumors to this effect are baseless and unconfirmed.
“The only piece of advice that I can give is that in a situation like this, avoid reacting to all such anonymous, baseless fake news stories and rely only on official statements by genuine officials,” the presidential spokesman emphasised.
‘Good advice’ for CNN: ‘Stop spreading lies and fake news’
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, advised CNN reporter Matthew Chance to stop spreading lies and fake news when he asked her to comment about the spying allegations.
“Stop spreading lies and fake news. This is a good advice for the CNN. Thank you,” Zakharova replied as she walked away.
Sessions said that those meetings did not concern the elections in the US. When the meetings with Kislyak took place Sessions was Alabama senator. He said that those working meetings concerned armed forces and were held together with meetings with other ambassadors accredited in Washington.
“It’s time to end our love affair with Trump” declares one Russian paper today. Moscow lowering expectations for US-Russian ties, reported Rosenberg on February 19.
So with the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions under pressure over his conversations with the Russian ambassador, Komsomolskaya Pravda has this advice for the US president: “Trump must sink his teeth in and not give up his own guise.” This is quoting a Russian political pundit who says that “Trump must actively fight Sessions. “This is a deeply loyal figure,” he says, “who can be relied on for many issues.” He goes on to say that, “if Trump is weak, he will give him up, but if he’s a fighter he must sink his teeth in and not let go, otherwise they will continue to look for links to Russia and try to paint the new administration as a team of cheats.”
Moving on to Moskovsky Komsomolets, its headline: “Trump is repeating Nixon’s mistakes.” What does the paper mean by that? Well it goes on to explain. It says that, “Trump has committed a colossal error by getting rid of Michael Flynn.” It says that, “Flynn’s resignation became an opening which Trump’s opponents have been exploiting and now,” the paper says, “they will try to widen that opening and boost their attacks on the president.” It says that, “this tactic was tested by Richard Nixon who got rid of Spiro Agnew, his vice-president in 1973, hoping to save himself, but he himself became a victim of intrigues.”
Moving on to Kommersant, which points out with Sergey Kislyak, the US ambassador to Washington in the spotlight, that’s going to cause problems for the embassy there. It says that, “the work of the ambassador and the Embassy will become more difficult because Americans will be running away from Russian diplomats in fear, since any contact will be interpreted as an attempted espionage.”
And finally, today’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta looks at fading hopes at US-Russian relations in the light of all of this. The paper says, “we only have ourselves to blame, since after the elections our media has got carried away by Trumpimania, an ungrounded optimism for hopes of a quick improvement in US-Russian relations. Today we can state that none of those hopes have come true, talk about removing sanctions has gone quiet, the issue of a Putin-Trump meeting is hanging in the air, The White House says that Russia should give back Crimea, and the Pentagon has said it intends to talk to Russia from a position of strength.”