Moon of Alabama – July 20, 2019
Filmmaker Oliver Stone recently interviewed the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. The transcript was published yesterday evening. Most of the interview is about Ukraine. A separate piece will cover that country. There is also a passage about the U.S. election.
But the most interesting bits from Putin are about the Skripal affair.
The British and Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia were impaired by some chemical substance in early March 2018 in Salisbury. Britain blamed the incident on Russia. CIA Director Gina Haspel, a former CIA station chief in London, used fake pictures of the incident to deceive Trump and to push him to kick out 60 Russian diplomats. (The NYT later ran cover for Haspel.)
We have speculated since the very beginning of the Skirpal case that the ‘former’ spy wanted to go back to Russia. Putin now confirms, to my knowledge for the first time, that this was the case (underline added):
Oliver Stone: What has happened to Skripal? Where is he?
Vladimir Putin: I have no idea. He is a spy, after all. He is always in hiding.
Oliver Stone: They say he was going to come back to Russia. He had some information.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, I have been told that he wants to make a written request to come back.
Oliver Stone: He knew still and he wanted to come back. He had information that he could give to the world press here in Russia.
Vladimir Putin: I doubt it. He has broken the ranks already. What kind of information can he possess?
The information Sergei Skripal possessed might have been related to the U.S. election and the Steele dossier which alleged that Russia had dirt on Trump. On March 8 2018, only a few days after the Sergei and Julia Skripal were allegedly poisoned, we discussed the connection in our first post on the Skripal affair: