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WATCH: Putin Bursts Out Laughing When Asked If Deaths Of Russian Critics Are ‘A Coincidence’

   DailyWire.com
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the launching ceremony of the Gazprom's Amur Gas Processing Plant, via a video conference, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on June 9, 2021.
SERGEI ILYIN / Sputnik / AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin was confronted by an NBC News journalist during a recent interview ahead of his meeting with President Joe Biden over whether he was behind numerous killings of critics of the Russian government.

“Let me give you some names,” NBC News reporter Keir Simmons said. “Anna Politkovskaya, shot dead. Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned by polonium. Sergei Magnitsky, allegedly beaten and died in prison. Boris Nemtsov, shot moments from the Kremlin, moments from here. Mikhail Lesin— died of— blunt trauma in Washington, D.C.”

“Are all of these a coincidence, Mr. President?” Simmons asked.

Once the translation came through to Putin he burst out laughing, saying, “Look, you know, I don’t want to come across as being rude, but— this looks like— some kind of— indigestion, except that it’s verbal indigestion.”

“You mentioned many individuals who indeed suffered and perished at different points in time for various reasons at the hand of different individuals,” he said. “You mentioned Lesin. Lesin used to work in my administration. I— liked him very much. He died— he perished or died in the United States. I’m not sure if he perished or died. We should ask you how exactly he perished. I— regret to this day that he is not with us. In my opinion, he’s a very decent person.”

“As far as— the others, we found some of the criminals who committed— those crimes. Some are in prison, and we are prepared to continue to work in this mode and— along this avenue identifying everybody who violate the law and by their actions cause damage, including to the image of the Russian Federation,” he continued. “However—just piling everything together is— meaningless— inappropriate, and baseless. If— one sees it as a line of attack, then very well. Let me listen to it— one more time. But I repeat it— I— I’d like to repeat that I have heard it— many times. But this doesn’t baffle me. I know which direction to move in to secure the interests of the Russian state.”

WATCH:

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA NBC NEWS:

KEIR SIMMONS: There you go again, Mr. President. “What about America?” when I’ve asked you about Russia. Let me ask you— you mentioned Congress. Let me ask you another direct question that you— can answer. And it’s an allegation that has been made, an accusation that has been made again and again now— in the United States.

The late John McCain— in Congress called you a killer. When President Trump was asked— was told that you are a killer, he didn’t deny it. When President Biden was asked whether he believes you are a killer, he said, “I do.” Mr. President, are you a killer?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Look, I am— over my tenure, I’ve g— gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of— pretexts and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness. And none of it surprises me. People with whom I work and with whom we argue, we— we are not bride and groom. We don’t swear everlasting love and friendship.

We are partners. And in some areas, we are rivals or competitors. As far as harsh rhetoric, I think that— this is an expression of overall U.S. culture. Of course in Hollywood, because we mentioned Hollywood at the beginning of our conversation, there are some— deep things— in— Hollywood— macho— which can be treated as— cinematographic art but more often than not it’ s macho behavior that is part of— U.S.- political culture where it’s considered normal.

By the way, not here. It is not considered normal here. If this rhetoric is followed by a suggestion to meet and discuss bilateral issues and matters of international policies, I see it as desire to engage in joint work. If this desire is serious, we’re prepared to support it.

KEIR SIMMONS: I don’t— I don’t— I don’t think I heard you answer the question, the direct question— Mr. President.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: I did answer. I did answer. I will add— if you let me, I have heard dozens of such accusations, especially during the period of— some grave events during our counterterrorism efforts in North Caucuses. And when it happens, I’m always guided by the interests of the Russian people and Russian state. And— sentiments in terms of who calls somebody what, what kind of labels, (THROAT CLEARING) this is not something I worry about in the least.

KEIR SIMMONS: Th— let me give you some names. Ann— Anna Anna Politkovskaya, shot dead. Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned by polonium. Sergei Magnitsky, allegedly beaten and died in prison. Boris Nemtsov, shot moments from the Kremlin, moments from here. Mikhail Lesin— died of— blunt trauma in Washington, D.C. Are all of these a coincidence, Mr. President? (LAUGH)

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Look, you know, I don’t want to come across as being rude, but— this looks like— some kind of— indigestion, except that it’s verbal indigestion. You mentioned many individuals who indeed suffered and perished at different points in time for various reasons at the hand of different individuals.

You mentioned Lesin. Lesin used to work in my administration. I— liked him very much. He died— he perished or died in the United States. I’m not sure if he perished or died. We should ask you how exactly he perished. I— regret to this day that he is not with us. In my opinion, he’s a very decent person.

As far as— the others, we found some of the criminals who committed— those crimes. Some are in prison, and we are prepared to continue to work in this mode and— along this avenue identifying everybody who violate the law and by their actions cause damage, including to the image of the Russian Federation.

However—just piling everything together is— meaningless— inappropriate, and baseless. If— one sees it as a line of attack, then very well. Let me listen to it— one more time. But I repeat it— I— I’d like to repeat that I have heard it— many times. But this doesn’t baffle me. I know which direction to move in to secure the interests of the Russian state.

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