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Putin has celebrities' phone calls tapped before the US election - to help Trump?

2024-02-21T20:21:15.592Z

Highlights: Putin has celebrities' phone calls tapped before the US election - to help Trump?. As of: February 21, 2024, 9:08 p.m By: Michael Kister A Russian secret service is said to have intercepted telephone conversations of prominent Americans in order to use them as leverage in the US presidential election campaign. It wouldn't be a surprise if Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to intervene in the U.S. elections again. The now deceased mercenary leader, bot factory owner and former Putin confidant Yevgeny Prigozhin even confirmed the interference.



As of: February 21, 2024, 9:08 p.m

By: Michael Kister

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A Russian secret service is said to have intercepted telephone conversations of prominent Americans in order to use them as leverage in the US presidential election campaign.

Washington DC - Alexander Smirnov, a former FBI informant, said he learned from a Russian official that a Russian secret service was listening in on guests' phone calls at a hotel.

These included conversations between prominent Americans, which could be used as leverage in the 2024 US election, depending on who ultimately runs.

This emerges from a court memorandum from the US Department of Justice, which was prepared on the occasion of a trial against Smirnov.

Newsweek

magazine

first reported it.

The 43-year-old American-Israeli dual national is accused of falsely claiming that US President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden each took a $5 million bribe from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

His claim is at the center of the Republican-driven impeachment proceedings against President Biden.

If the suspicion is confirmed, Smirnov could face up to 25 years in prison in this context.

Which US presidential candidate does Putin want to put under pressure?

© Jim Watson/Brendan Smialowski/afp

The informant is said to have had close connections to high-ranking Russian intelligence officials

The court note said Smirnov stated that he had been in contact with several high-ranking Russian intelligence officials.

One of them, who told him about the wiretapping in December 2023, was the son of a former important Russian civil servant.

According to Smirnov, this contact “controls two groups of individuals who are tasked with carrying out assassinations in a third country.”

It wouldn't be a surprise if Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to intervene in the US elections again.

A nearly 1,000-page report by the US Intelligence Committee found that Russia wanted to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.

On the one hand, employees of Trump's campaign team had contacts with Russian secret service employees, and on the other hand, Russian hackers tried to run disinformation campaigns in the USA.

Which US presidential candidate does Putin want to support in 2024?

The now deceased mercenary leader, bot factory owner and former Putin confidant Yevgeny Prigozhin even confirmed the interference.

Against this background, the Russian head of state's recent statements about the upcoming US elections seem strange.

In an interview with a state TV station, Putin said that he would prefer Joe Biden to be the next man in the White House than Donald Trump and justified this preference by saying that he

“more experienced, more predictable” and “an old school politician”.

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Whether this was just a tactical move by the Kremlin ruler remains controversial.

In any case, Donald Trump himself does not hesitate to publicly express his sympathy for him.

On January 29th of this year, he indicated on his Truth Social platform that he trusted Putin more than the American secret services.

This may not necessarily be reciprocal: Trump's claim that he could end the Ukraine war in 24 hours if he were elected as the next US president was also met with skepticism by Putin.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2024-02-21

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