Before attacking Trump team’s Russia ties, top Democrats were currying favor in Moscow

by WorldTribune Staff, December 19, 2016

Democratic Party leaders who are currently blasting Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 elections and condemning President-elect Donald Trump’s supposed close ties to Vladimir Putin were not too long ago seeking “deepening ties” – and sometimes huge wads of cash – from the very same Russians.

Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in 2010 “was leading the way in urging U.S.-Russia business expansion, complete with an American high-tech delegation to Moscow and U.S. investments in Russian cyberskills,” Rowan Scarborough reported for The Washington Times on Dec. 18.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Russia's far eastern port city Vladivostok on September 8, 2012. Australian AFP PHOTO / POOL (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL METZEL/AFP/GettyImages)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sept. 8, 2012. / Mikhail Metzel / AFP / Getty

Now, Clinton and the Obama administration claim Putin ordered cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee and Russia provided embarrassing stolen emails to WikiLeaks.

Flashback: It was President Barack Obama who “continued to defend the Putin regime at least as late as 2012,” Scarborough’s report noted.

During a televised presidential debate in October, Obama ridiculed GOP nominee Mitt Romney for Russia was the top U.S. adversary.

“Gov. Romney, I’m glad you recognize Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what is the biggest geopolitical group facing America, you said Russia — not Al Qaida. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the Cold War has been over for 20 years,” Obama said.

Earlier in 2012, Obama was caught in a “hot mic” incident during a meeting with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama said. The “him” referred to Putin.

“Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you,” the outgoing Russian president responded.

Obama then said: “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”

Medvedev assured Obama that he would tell “Vladimir,” the incoming president.

“Since then, Putin has invaded Ukraine and sent his forces into Syria, where his planes have indiscriminately bombed civilians, according to NATO,” Scarborough’s report said. “The U.S. charges that hacking cadres under Kremlin control attacked computer networks at the Pentagon, the White House and the State Department. If there was any concerted retaliatory response by Obama, it has not come to light.”

Meanwhile, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable foundation accepted money from Russian business people and Bill Clinton accepted Russian speaking fees.

In 2010, the former president took $500,000 in speaking fees from a Russian finance company run by former KGB spies closely tied to Putin, a former KGB officer.

In 2009, when newly confirmed Secretary of State Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva, “she brought with her a gimmicky ‘reset’ button signaling the dawn of new Washington-Moscow relations that had been soured by Russia’s 2008 military incursion into the former Soviet republic of Georgia,” Scarborough’s report said. “Clinton was thus jettisoning President George W. Bush’s cold shoulder to Putin over his increasingly nationalistic rhetoric.”

During a 2010 visit to Moscow, Secretary Clinton called for extensive U.S.-Russian ties.

“We believe that this reset of the relationship has led to much greater cooperation, coordination and a constructive ongoing consultation on numerous issues that are important to our bilateral relationship and to the global issues that we both are facing,” she said.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest has criticized the Trump team for doing the same thing, Scarborough noted.

The Obama administration was also helping Putin realize his dream of controlling a huge chunk of the world’s uranium.

According to Scarborough’s report, the Putin prize was Uranium One, a Canadian firm that controlled large U.S. uranium deposits. The suitor was Russia’s Rosatom State Nuclear Agency, a powerhouse of hundreds of nuclear weapon and power entities at home and abroad. It claims it ranks No. 2 globally in controlling uranium reserves and No. 1 in building nuclear reactors for a variety of countries. Rosatom built Iran’s first nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

The Committee on Foreign Investments in the U.S., of which Clinton is a member, approved the Rosatom takeover in 2013. She had been a hawk against such deals but did not object.

“All the while, huge sums of money from people connected to Uranium One and Rosatom were flowing into the Clinton Foundation, the $3 billion charity operating in nearly 30 countries,” Scarborough’s report said.

Fast forward to 2016 and the rules for Russia in Washington have changed and “Putin is persona non grata.”

Clinton, who previously had personally vouched for Putin as someone with whom the U.S. can do business, accused Trump of being Putin’s “puppet” during the campaign.

“Now, maybe because he has praised Putin, maybe because he says he agrees with a lot of what Putin wants to do, maybe because he wants to do business in Moscow, I don’t know the reasons,” Clinton said at the second presidential debate. “But we deserve answers. And we should demand that Donald release all of his tax returns so that people can see what are the entanglements and the financial relationships that he has with the Russians and other foreign powers.”

“The reason they blame Russia is because they think they’re trying to tarnish me with Russia,” Trump said. “I know nothing about Russia. I know about Russia, but I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia. I don’t deal there. I have no businesses there. I have no loans from Russia.”