Everybody’s talking about Chris Wallace’s interview with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Because the Fox News journalist asked all the right questions, and refused to let Putin beat around the bush.
Civics Lesson: Who is Sergei Skripal?
Sergei Skripal is an ex-member of the Russian military who acted as a double agent for the U.K.’s intelligence sector during the 1990s and early 2000s. On March 4, 2018, he and his daughter Yulia Skripal were attacked with a nerve agent in Salisbury, England. Several credible U.K. sources, along with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), believe that the toxin came from Russia.
Photo: Novichok decontamination work being undertaken in the area where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found poisoned and unconscious in Salisbury, England. Credit: Amani A / Shutterstock.com
As The Washington Post points out, the most notable exchange happened towards the end of the interview, when Wallace pressed Putin on why many of his critics wind up dead.
PUTIN (THROUGH INTERPRETER): Well, first of all, all of us have plenty of political rivals. I’m pretty sure President Trump has plenty of political rivals.
WALLACE: But they don’t end up dead.
PUTIN: Well, not always—well, haven’t presidents been killed in the United States? Have you forgotten about—well, has Kennedy been killed in Russia or in the United States? Or Mr. King? What—and what happens to the clashes between police and, well, civil society, and some—several ethnic groups? Well, that’s something that happens on the U.S. soil. All of us have our own set of domestic problems.
But going back to what happened in Russia, yes. We do have crime and we unfortunately—there are some crimes. And to some extent, Russia’s statehood is maturing. And there are some side effects. And we prosecute people responsible for these crimes. But since you’ve mentioned the Skripal case, we would like to get at least some sort of a document, evidence about it. But nobody gives it to us. It’s the same thing as the accusations with meddling into the election process in America. We recently heard that two more people suffered from the same nerve agent that is called Novichok. I have never even heard the last names of these persons. Who are they? What —
WALLACE: Supposedly they picked up the bottle that was used to attack Skripal.
Another notable exchange happened when Wallace attempted to hand Putin a copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officers. Putin refused to accept the document, and instead insisted that Wallace place it on a nearby table.
Putin then attempted to dance around the topic, but Wallace wouldn’t let up. Some samples of Putin’s responses include:
- “This is utterly ridiculous.”
- “If you don’t like my answer, you can give it to me straightway, and I’ll just keep silent. And if you want Americans to listen to my opinion, could you please wait for a little bit?”
- “Well, let me finish. Just let me finish. Well, you’re trying to drive, but I will finish.”
To watch the full interview, click here.