The interview that Vladimir Putin gave to the star of American television journalism Megin Kelly proved to be interesting not only by the Russian leader's own answers. Judging by Kelly's reaction, the personality of the Russian president made a much greater impression on her than his arguments. However, Putin himself has reasons not to pay attention to this.
On Sunday, 4 May, on the NBC television channel, 20-minute interview of Vladimir Putin, which he gave to the famous journalist Megin Kelly, was published. The same that led the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
On the one hand, we can say that Kelly did an excellent job, if only because she did not raise the topic of Chechen homosexuals in a conversation with the Russian president. On the other hand, this interview demonstrated the deepest misunderstanding between Russia and the States. It's not even a problem to "listen, but not hear." From the communication between Putin and Kelly left the impression that the American journalist in principle did not understand what Putin was trying to convey to her. Although he said the usual things that have long been a common place in the rhetoric of the Russian president.
Probably, Russia as a whole and Putin should personally flatter that most of Kelly's questions turned out to be focused on the actual domestic political agenda of the United States and Russia's role in it.
Megin Kelly has consistently gone through all the "Russian" scandals of recent months in the US: Russian interference in the presidential election, Russian hackers, the activities of Ambassador Kislyak, the secret communication channel between Trump's headquarters and Russia, General Flynn and his connections with Moscow, the trash on Trump at the Kremlin .
In turn, Vladimir Putin categorically denied everything in the style of "Was not. Was not. Not involved. Did not participate ":
- Russia did not interfere in the elections;
- hackers could be from anywhere;
- Ambassador Kislyak simply did his job, there were no extraordinary results, because Putin was not reported about anything like that;
- there was no secret communication channel with Trump's headquarters in Moscow;
- Megan Kelly's acquaintance with Putin is much closer than with General Flynn, with whom they once sat side by side at the event and exchanged a couple of phrases;
- There is no compromising evidence on the Trump at the Kremlin.
In turn, Kelly evidently did not believe Putin. The reasons for her disbelief are simple.
The Russian president not only denied accusations against Russia, but also discussed the issues raised more abstractly. His arguments were reduced to the fact that even if something like this would happen, it would not be for the United States to resent it. In fact, a significant part of Putin's answers turned out to be devoted to what in recent years the West has been called the "ideological cynicism of the Kremlin", "undermining Russia's ideals and values of the Western world" and similar terms. In turn, in Russia this is perceived as a pragmatic view of the world without rose-colored glasses.
Putin's arguments are well known:
- In the US, a very imperfect electoral system, which in many ways became the cause of the current scandals;
- dissent is suppressed in the US, and special services are smashing opposition movements ("Occupy Wall Street");
- In the US, the police are extremely tough on Protestants, using batons and tear gas, which is not in Russia;
- There is a version that the US special services killed the president of the country (John F. Kennedy);
- The US unabashedly for decades intervened in political processes, including in elections, in different countries around the world.
From this it follows that, firstly, the United States has no rights and grounds for teaching democracy to other countries, in particular Russia. And secondly, it's strange to be outraged if the US methods suddenly turned out to be used against them.
Megin Kelly took this not as abstract reasoning, but as a form of justification, which she directly told the Russian leader. Probably, in something it can be understood.
Opponents of Trump, including Kelly, the US president has already passed a verdict of "guilty" of compromising ties with Russia. No words Putin could not convince a journalist. Well, the fact that the head of the Russian state allowed himself not only to deny accusations, but also to think aloud about the very risky - from Kelly's point of view - matter, only increased her suspicions.
The inability to hear and accept another point of view because of unconditional conviction of one's rightness is a long-known and widespread problem among mankind. Just in politics, it costs, as elsewhere, expensive.
In addition, this interview once again highlighted the important feature of Putin - he always speaks first for Russia.
Observers have repeatedly noticed a curious phenomenon: the rhetoric of state leaders, when they speak for a foreign audience, differs markedly from what they say for "internal use." Sometimes the discrepancies can be striking. Putin is unique in that his public speeches are always focused primarily on the domestic Russian audience.
Megin Kelly clearly did not believe his words, although the Russian leader made a strong impression on her. And one can only guess what effect Putin's interview had on the American public. But within Russia, with his answers, Vladimir Putin ensured a confirmation of the people's sympathies and support for his course.
M. Kelly (as translated): Mr. President, you said several times that Russia is not involved in any interference in the presidential elections, including the plenary session of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.
However, in the US they think there is such a consensus that you did it. There are 17 security agencies that so claim, Democrats, Republicans, all the committees that saw the secret materials say it is so. Are they all lying?
Vladimir Putin:They are misled and do not analyze the information in full. I have never seen any direct evidence of Russia's interference in the US presidential election.
We talked about this with former President Obama, we talked with some other officials - no one ever showed me any direct evidence.
When we talked with President Obama on this, it's better for you to ask him, I think he will tell you that he is also confident of it, but when we talked with him, I saw that he also began to doubt. At any rate, I saw it.
I already told you, I can repeat, because today's technology is such that the final address can be so camouflaged that no one will understand the origin of this address. And on the contrary, it is possible to substitute any structure, any person, so that everyone will think that he is the source of this or that attack. Modern technologies are very sophisticated, subtle and allow it to be done. When we understand this, we will get rid of all illusions. This is in the first place.
Secondly, I am deeply convinced that no interference from outside in any, even in a small country, much less in such a large, great power as the United States, can not affect the final outcome of the elections. It's never impossible.
M.Kelly:And the other side says that 70 thousand votes total, which changed the result of the election. And it was not so difficult - to affect 70 thousand votes.
Vladimir Putin:The Constitution of the United States and electoral legislation are structured in such a way that a larger number of electors can vote for a candidate, for which there is a smaller number of voters. And there are such cases in the history of the United States. True?
Therefore, if we are talking about some kind of social and political justice, then it is probably necessary to change this electoral legislation, to bring the matter to the point where a head of state was elected by direct secret ballot and there was a direct calculation that can be easily checked. That's all. And you do not need to refer to anyone and blame anyone who has lost the election in your troubles.
Now, if this page is still turned around, I'll tell you something that you probably should know: I do not want to offend anyone, but the United States everywhere, throughout the world, actively interferes in the election campaigns of other countries. Do you not know this?
Talk, just so that (as far as possible for you) to convince people that you will not betray this publicity. That's where you point a finger at the world map, everywhere you will be complaining that American officials interfere in their internal political processes.
So if someone, I do not say that it's us (we did not interfere), but if someone somehow influences, or tries to influence, or somehow participates in these processes, then the United States is not That to take offense. Who says this to us, who offends us for interfering? You yourself constantly intervene.
M.Kelly:As an excuse sounds.
Vladimir Putin:This does not sound like an excuse, it sounds like a statement of fact. Each action has a corresponding counteraction. But, I repeat, we do not need to do this, because I told you not by accident that both you and other media representatives recently said the same thing in France: the presidents come and go, even the parties change in power , and the main political line does not change. Therefore, by and large, we do not care who will be in charge of the United States, we somehow know what will happen. And in this connection, even if there was a desire, there is no point in interfering.
M.Kelly:You said that Russia has nothing to do with interference in the American elections, and this week you suddenly talked about some patriotic hackers. Why did you now start talking about this, about patriotic hackers who can somehow act?
Vladimir Putin:Just me French journalists asked about these hackers. And I, just like them, can tell you: hackers can be anywhere, they can be in Russia, in Asia, in the same America, in Latin America. It can be hackers, by the way, in the United States, who very cleverly and professionally translated, as we say, "arrow" to Russia. You can not afford this? During the internal political struggle, for some reason, it was convenient for them to give this information. They issued it, referring to Russia. This you can not imagine? I can.
Let's remember the assassination of President Kennedy. Indeed, there is a version that the assassination of President Kennedy was organized by the special services of the United States. If this version is correct, and this can not be excluded, what is easier in today's conditions, using all the technical capabilities of the special services, to organize any attacks in an appropriate way, referring also to Russia. And what if a candidate from the Democratic Party is so loved in the United States? What, this is such a popular person was? And this candidate also had his own political opponents and opponents.
M.Kelly:Let's go further.
A special council was appointed to investigate the links between your Government and the Trump campaign. You said that Ambassador Kislyak simply did his job. And what was still discussed at these meetings?
Vladimir Putin:There were no meetings. You see, there were no meetings. I, when I saw it, just opened my mouth.
M.Kelly:That is, there were no meetings between Mr. Kislyak and someone from Trump's headquarters?
Vladimir Putin:I have no idea. I tell you quite frankly. I dont know. The current work of the ambassador. What do you think, from all over the world and from the United States, the ambassador reports to me every day, with whom he meets, what is he discussing? Nonsense. Do you understand that you are asking, or not?
M.Kelly:You are his boss, you are his boss.
Vladimir Putin:Chief - Minister of Foreign Affairs. Do you think that I have time every day to communicate with our ambassadors all over the world, or what? Some kind of rubbish. Do not you understand that this is nonsense? I do not even know who he met there.
If there was something outstanding, out of the ordinary, he would, of course, reported to the minister, the minister - to me. Nothing of the sort happened.
M.Kelly:Since that happened, did you speak with the ambassador about what was discussed with Kushner, with Michael Flynn, with someone else from the headquarters?
Vladimir Putin:No, I have not.
M.Kelly:Were not you interested?
Vladimir Putin:No, because if there was something meaningful, he would report to the minister, the minister would report to me. There were no reports at all. A current, meaningless work that does not have any, perhaps even prospects.
Just someone decided to stick to it and chose it as a line of attack on the incumbent President. It's not our business, it's your internal political dissent there. Do them yourself.
Nothing is simple, there is nothing to talk about. There was not even a specific discussion on sanctions or something else. It's amazing for me: you made a sensation on the bare ground and turned it into an instrument of struggle with the incumbent President. You just, you know what: you are such an ingenious people there, such fellows. You are bored to live, apparently.
M.Kelly: I know that you probably heard that they are investigating the fact that Jared Kushner, a relative of the President, with Kislyak, is said to have discussed in December the reverse communication channel between Trump's headquarters and the Russian Government, and there was a proposal from Kushner that they Can do this in a Russian consulate or embassy, they can use Russian communication equipment to make such a connection. And that the US intelligence did not hear this all. Do you think that this is a good idea?
Vladimir Putin:Russia did not have any channels with either of the headquarters of candidates for the presidency of the United States. None. Russia did not create any channels and did not have any channels with anyone. Perhaps there were some official contacts with the headquarters of all candidates, this is normal diplomatic practice.
M.Kelly:There was a proposal from Mr. Kouchner, how would you rate it?
Vladimir Putin:I do not know about such a proposal. To me such a proposal has not been received.
M.Kelly:Mr. Flynn You knew, he came here for dinner, there is a photo that is distributed in the American media. What was your relationship with Mr. Flynn?
Vladimir Putin:I have a much closer relationship with you personally than with Mr. Flynn. We met yesterday evening, we worked together all day today, now we meet again.
When I came to the event of our company Russia Today and sat down at the table, a certain gentleman was sitting next to me, on the other hand, someone else was sitting, then I spoke, talked about something else, I got up and left.
And then they said to me: "You know, this is an American citizen, he was engaged in this, he used to work in the special services, and now he is engaged in this and that." I said, "Well, are you cooperating with him somehow?" - "No, we just invited him as one of the guests." I say: "Well done, thank God." All!
I almost did not even talk to him. I just said hello to him, sat down next to him, then said goodbye, got up and left. All my acquaintance with Mr. Flynn. Now, if Flynn and I had such a contact, but with you all day, Flynn was fired from his job, and you just need to be arrested and put in jail.
M.Kelly:Many Americans hear the name "Vladimir Putin". They think that he runs a country that is plunged into corruption, a country where journalists who critically express their views are killed, a country where dissidents can be in prison, or something worse. To those who think so, what would you say?
Vladimir Putin:I want to say that Russia is developing along a democratic path. This is certainly, and this should not be anybody's doubts. What happens in some internal political struggle, some other events, something happens that is typical for other countries, I do not see anything unusual in this.
We have meetings of the opposition, we have the right to express their point of view. Yes, if people in the course of expressing their own opinion violate the current legislation, the law in force, then, of course, law enforcement agencies are trying to restore order.
I draw your attention to what I spoke about recently, while in France, and in communication with other colleagues from Europe. Our police, thank God, so far, in any case, does not use batons, tear gas, or other extreme measures to restore order, which we often see in other countries, including in the United States.
As for the opposition. Let's recall the Occupy Wall Street movement, where is it now? Law enforcement agencies and special services of the United States dismantled it on wheels and dissolved it. I do not ask you a question: how are you with democracy in the United States? Moreover, the electoral law is far from perfect in the United States. Why do you consider yourself entitled to ask us such questions, and constantly, engage in moralizing and teach us to live?
We are ready to listen to our partners, we are ready to listen to assessments when it is done kindly, to establish contact, create a single atmosphere, devote ourselves to serving the same values, but we absolutely do not accept when such things are used as instruments of political struggle. I want everyone to know about this. This is our message.
M.Kelly:There were questions in America about the finances of Donald Trump, he announced the declaration, there is some secret dossier, as they say. He says it's all a fake. But there it is said that there is some kind of blackmail from the Russians, there were some communications between the Kremlin and Trump's headquarters. All this forces the Americans to ask: "Do you have any information that discredits President Tampa?"
Vladimir Putin:Just another nonsense. Where did we get some information from? Did we have any special relations with him? In general, there was no relationship. He came to Moscow in due time. You know, I have not met him.
A lot of Americans come to us. Right now, in my opinion, representatives of a hundred American companies came to Russia. Do you think I met with every representative of the American company?
You probably saw or not, I went into the hall where our colleagues sit. I consider them our friends, they all work in Russia, and many work for many years. They are investors, heads of the largest American companies, they are interested in working together.
And thank God, we, of course, will welcome each of them. And we consider each of them to be our friend, and we will help them in realizing their plans in Russia. We will try to work to ensure that they work here successfully and profitably.
They are that all for this need to be arrested later, or what? Are you out of your mind? And what about the freedom of the economy? How are human rights? Do you think that we are now on each of them a compromise, or what, we collect? Are you in your mind all or not?
M.Kelly:The last question.
We spent about a week in St. Petersburg. And almost every person we met on the street says that they respect you, because, in their opinion, you have returned to Russia its dignity. You again made Russia respected by all. You have been in charge of this country for 17 years. Tell me, did this affect you personally?
Vladimir Putin:I hope no.
What I feel? I feel a direct live connection with this land, with history, with the country. You said that in St. Petersburg for several days. We talked yesterday with the Prime Minister of India, he visited the Piskaryovskoye memorial cemetery, where about 400 thousand of Leningraders, as a rule, civilians who were killed during the Second World War in a blockade were buried. They died of hunger. And in one of the graves is buried my elder brother, whom I have never seen, and I will never forget about this, as well as the state in which our country was at the beginning of the 90-ies.
We discussed with you today during our conversation, but at us from times to time: from 2000 to the present day ... We have a lot of problems, and even the poverty threshold is now a little worse than we planned. The situation will be corrected, I'm sure. But all the same at us in times the real wages of the population has grown, in times the pension has grown.
The economy has become quite different in general: the volume has changed, the economy has almost doubled in volume, and its quality has changed. Not as fast as we would like, but the structure is changing. Today we have absolutely different Armed Forces in comparison with what was, say, 15 years ago.
And all this, of course, including our great history, culture, all this, and not just what we see today, the overwhelming majority of Russian citizens are proud of their country.
M.Kelly:Mr. President, thank you very much.
The text of the interview is taken from Site President of Russia.