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    U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018

    Russiagate Promoters Forget Lessons of Iraq - Man Ejected from Helsinki Presser

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    On Monday, an op-ed writer for The Nation was forcibly removed from a press briefing in the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. His offense? Holding a small sign that said “Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty.”

    The writer, Sam Husseini, who is also the communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that urges mainstream media outlets to interview progressive scholars and policy analysts, was dragged from the briefing just minutes before the two leaders were to take questions from the press.

    ​Sputnik spoke to Husseini before he was ejected. The writer was in Helsinki covering Trump and Putin protests and talking to various peace activists.

    "I was at the protest called ‘Helsinki Calling' yesterday, and it was what you might generously call, a big tent, lots of contradictory messages. Some some seemed authentically pro-peace of some variety," Husseini told Sputnik News' Lee Stranahan in the Finnish capital.

    "There were nuclear ban people, some Palestine solidarity people, but there was what you could call the so called ‘resistance' in the US or some echo of it. ‘I hate Trump,' ‘I hate Putin,' ‘I hate both Trump and Putin.' It was kind of a mishmash that way of different things," Husseini added.

    The ‘whole Russiagate' narrative was also pervasive at the protest, Husseini noted. Protesters shared the worldview that "we have had this world order of non-aggression and non-interference for all these decades and Putin has violated that. And all of — the Iraq War, US interventions around the world — all that's supposed to be forgotten. And I think a lot of the ‘resistance' in its hatred of Trump and Putin has implicitly on some level bought into that worldview." 

    "I think a lot of people who I knew who did the most serious work on Iraq are skeptical…. A lot of people who are leading this are the people who were on the sidelines or certainly were not putting out the most serious critique of the Iraq War as we were pulling up to it. It's just hard to keep track of everybody sometimes," Husseini added.

    Caitlin Graf, a spokesperson for The Nation, said the publication was "troubled" by the removal. "At a time when this administration consistently denigrates the media, we're troubled by reports that he was forcibly removed from the press conference before the two leaders began to take questions," Graf told CBS News Monday. "This is a developing situation that we will be following closely."

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    Iraq, Russia gate, reporter, Finland
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