The Kremlin paid General Michael Flynn roughly $40,000 to have dinner with Vladimir Putin at a December 2015 Russia Today gala according to The New Yorker.
This raises an obvious question: did Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein also receive $40,000 from the Kremlin to sit at Putin’s dinner table?
And if she did receive $40,000 in Kremlin cash, where did the money go — to her bank account or to the Green Party?
So while the Kremlin placed its main bet in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Republican candidate Donald Trump, it placed a side bet on Jill Stein. When Donald Trump deflects accusations that Putin is a killer by saying “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”, Stein echoes Trump and defensively says, “Yeah, Russia is doing lots of human rights abuse, but you know what? So are we.” When Trump declared President Obama to be the “founder of ISIS,” Stein agreed that “we created ISIS.”
The number of examples where Stein and Trump echo one another is too large to document.
The important point here is this: just as Corporate America hedges its bets by backing candidates from both major parties, Kremlin oligarchs hedge their bets by backing both the Alt-Left and the Alt-Right. The result is absurdities like ex-MSNBC blowhard Ed Schultz speaking for Russia Today at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Progressives who want corporate money out of politics should also want foreign governments and their money out of politics since both corrupt the process and thwart genuine democracy in the interests of oligarchs, American and otherwise. This is why Bernie Sanders is right to support an independent and thorough investigation into Trump’s Kremlin’s ties; fully uncovering these ties could end his presidency before 2020.