03:12 GMT +319 October 2017
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    FBI Director James Comey listens as he is thanked for speaking at the Boston Conference on Cyber Security at Boston College in Boston, Massachusetts, US, March 8, 2017.

    What's Behind FBI Head Comey Calling Russia the 'Greatest Threat'

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    Earlier this week, during his testimony in the United States Senate, FBI Director James Comey said that Russia is the "greatest threat of any nation on Earth" to the democratic process in the United States.

    During the hearing, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Comey what kind of "threat" Russia presents to the "democratic process."

    "Certainly, in my view the greatest threat of any nation on Earth, given their intention and their capability," Comey answered.

    He also claimed that Moscow is still involved in attempts to influence politics in the United States.

    Commenting on Comey’s remarks, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at a press briefing: "I think that’s the view of the FBI. We rely on them and the rest of the intelligence community to provide the president with updates on what they are learning."

    Spicer added that President Donald Trump has confidence in the director of FBI, despite disagreements over the agency's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

    At the same time, he said he did not know what kind of evidence was behind Comey’s allegations against Russia.

    When asked whether Trump shares Comey’s view of Russia, Spicer stressed that the US president continues to consider North Korea the most dangerous threat to global peace at this point.

    Vladimir Bruter, a Russian political analyst and expert at the Institute for Humanities and Political Studies, said that the allegations on Russia meddling in US politics are totally groundless.

    "Comey often goes beyond his functions and does not bother about evidence. We have repeatedly heard the claim that Russia is a 'threat' but no one can explain what the deal is. For example, while the claim that North Korea is a threat is clear, when it comes to Russia it is always about meddling into the election. However, no one can explain why Russia would ever need that," Bruter told Radio Sputnik.

    The expert noted that the FBI director does not take care of what the White House thinks on the matter.

    "He is a very interesting person. In my opinion, Comey believes that by making such claims [against Russia] he reaffirms his status as a major US official and wants to say to the establishment that he is irreplaceable in his position. He thinks that Russia is a 'threat' and does not listen to White House’s opinion. He doesn’t take care about how much his words contradict reality," Bruter pointed out.

    According to Anatoly Petrenko, a political analyst and professor at the Academy of Social Management, by making such remarks Comey risks losing his job.

    "I guess he’s experiencing a crisis in his professional duties. It seems Comey has problems with orientation in space and time. I guess that a couple more of such statements and Comey will have to leave the office. Maybe, he wants to win some political gains in front of the audience. Maybe, he’s sincere but his sincerity is not a good sign," Petrenko said in an interview with Radio Sputnik.

     

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    Tags:
    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), James Comey, Donald Trump, United States, Russia
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