13:24 GMT30 October 2020
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    The US Senate Intelligence Committee has held the first public hearing on alleged Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election. Two-time US Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich discussed the hearing with Radio Sputnik.

    Alleged Russian attempts to swing last year’s election in Donald Trump’s favor have been in the media spotlight for several months.

    Radio Sputnik discussed this issue with Dennis Kucinich, a former Ohio Democrat congressman and two-time Democratic presidential candidate.

    “There are a lot of allegations and suppositions, but we are still waiting to see if any proof is brought forward that Russia influenced the outcome of the election. There doesn’t appear to be any proof at this point,” Kucinich said.

    “I would also say that there is plenty of proof that FBI Director Comey influenced the outcome of the election with his October 28 pronouncement of more emails in the Clinton investigation,” the congressman added.

    He further said that there were polls that were taken immediately afterward that showed a shift in public opinion against Secretary Clinton as a result of Comey’s statements.

    “The Senate is looking in the wrong place and where they ought to be looking is at the director of the FBI and his announcement which broke protocol and did in fact have a measurable effect in changing the outcome,” Kucinich told Radio Sputnik.

    Talking about why the US has continuously blamed Russia for meddling in US elections, the ex-congressman said that the US and Russia need to repair the damage that has been done to their bilateral relations.

    “We need to rebuild our diplomacy and establish contact between our people at every level. We need to get away from this narrative that suggests that Russia and the US must be at odds. In both countries we have people who benefit from conflict between Russia and the US, they benefit politically and in some cases they can benefit financially,” the ex-congressman said.

    Looking at what can happen if no proof is found to back up these allegations against Russia, the former congressman said that while he doesn’t want to speculate, he believes that the main problem going on right now is that everything is speculation.

    “It is very important for us to ask ourselves: Do we want good relationships between our nations? I think the answer must be yes. However, if there will be any evidence of political tampering, that should certainly be brought forward, but even then it should not be bases for setting us on a footing of intractable conflict,” Kucinich said.

    The ex-congressman stressed that no substantial evidence has been brought forward that would prove that Russia changed the outcome of the US elections through some kind of meddling.

    “The intelligence dossiers that have been shared with the public include assertions that Russian media such as RT had some kind of a role in changing the outcome of the elections by its news broadcast. That is ridiculous because it nullifies what in the US we say is ‘a principle virtue in our democracy’ and that is freedom of the press,” Kucinich said.

    He further explained his statement by saying that all media seek to influence the outcome of the election through their coverage and every single media outlet whether it is owned by the US or any other country will cover the US election with a certain point of view. However, that does not mean that their communication is false.

    Looking at how these allegations are probably aimed at damaging Donald Trump’s image, the former congressman said that there are people in certain US agency departments that are unfriendly toward Moscow and do want to see conflict between the two countries.

    “We must be careful not to let the policy objectives and differences expand into full-fledged conflict. It is important for leaders in both countries to find a way to get past this election and rebuild trust in the US and Russia,” Kucinich said.

    In conclusion the ex-congressman once again stressed, “If you want to know who influenced the US election, look no further than the FBI, whose director on October 28 announced a new investigation into Clinton’s email case which had a measurable adverse impact in her campaign and quite possibly could have swung the election to Donald Trump.”

    Testifying Thursday before the Committee, Democrat Senator Mark Warner claimed that Russia had launched an unprecedented campaign to influence America’s internal affairs.

    Republican Senator Marco Rubio assumed that his presidential campaign team members were also targeted by IP addresses from an unknown location in Russia. The hearing was the first in a row of other similar discussions expected to be held in recent months.

    The Kremlin denies all accusations of Russian cyberattacks, dismissing them as preposterous and ungrounded.


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