While Trump-Russia ‘witch hunt’ rages, a 2016 candidate actually dined with Putin ahead of campaign

While liberals look for anything related to Russia that they can connect to President Trump, it seems one candidate from the 2016 election actually dined with Vladimir Putin.

But the 2015 dinner with the Russian president had remained off the radar of the leftist media and is now being called a “non-event” by former Green Party presidential nominee, Jill Stein.

Stein downplayed the dinner in an appearance on CNN’s “OutFront with Erin Burnett,” on Thursday, although one can imagine a Trump dismissal of such an event would have made headlines for days.

“There was no translator at the table,” Stein said. “Vladimir Putin came in very late, with three, four people that I thought were his bodyguards, turns out they were core people in his administration, but you never would have known that.”

She claimed to have spoken only with a German diplomat at the dinner hosted by Russian broadcaster RT.

“There were no introductions, no conversations,” she said. “Russians spoke Russian, I spoke to the only person in earshot who spoke English, who was a German diplomat that was sitting to my right. So it was really quite a non-event.”

Questions naturally arose about whether Stein had any involvement in alleged Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election since being present at the dinner, which also included Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Earlier this month,  Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Senate investigators are now looking for any possible Russian connections in Stein’s 2016 campaign. The former candidate seemed to sidestep a question from CNN’s Pamela Brown.

“Can you say unequivocally that you were not acting as an unwitting agent for the Russians?” Brown asked.

“Thank you for raising that question. It’s really important and there’s a very clear-cut answer,” Stein replied, giving a not so clear-cut answer.

“My agenda, in the election, was really no different, fundamentally, from the Green Party’s agenda for the past many years – actually decades,” she added. “We’ve had a really strong peace, climate agenda, a foreign policy agenda based on international law, human rights and diplomacy. So there’s really nothing different in this election.”

Stein, who was also the 2012 Green Party nominee for president, received about one percent of the national vote in 2016.

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Frieda Powers


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