Putin: fans expect more from Russia's misfiring soccer team

If James Comey faces persecution for giving the media a memo detailing his interactions with President Trump, Vladimir Putin would happily grant the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director asylum in Moscow, the Russian president and unrepentant troll said Thursday.

According to Russian state media outlet TASS, Putin discussed tensions between President Donald Trump and Comey, who suggested he was sacked due to his role in a Russian election meddling probe, during a Thursday television appearance. Edward Snowden, who is facing espionage charges in the U.S., is a whistleblower and former CIA contractor who leaked USA intelligence documents on mass surveillance and was given political asylum by Russian Federation. He said, "It sounds and looks very weird when the chief of a security agency records his conversation with the commander in chief and then hands it over to media via his friend".

Speaking on his annual Direct Line program, in which he answers screened questions from viewers all over Russian Federation live on all major state TV channels, Putin weighed in on the rift between Comey and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Comey, who was overseeing the probe of Russia's involvement in the US elections, was recently sacked by US President Trump.

Russian farmers have pleaded with the Kremlin to keep the import ban even if the West lifts its sanctions, but Putin said that if "our partners lift the sanctions against our economy, we will respond in kind".

While taking a question from an American via video about U.S. -Russia relations, Putin responded saying the U.S.' "political infighting" is blocking better relations with Russian Federation.

During a Congressional hearing last week, Comey said he allowed a friend to release to the media portions of a memo he wrote about interactions with President Trump in which Trump demanded "loyalty" and intimated that he wanted to establish "patronage" with the Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

"We would be ready to offer political asylum to Comey if he's persecuted in the USA", he added.

Putin has denied any interference in the US election.

During the show, Putin mostly glorified the economic statistics of Russian Federation, his concern for social ills and saw little mention of his foreign policy announcements.

He continued: "We see that Russophobia is developing in the United States".

Putin began his answer by saying he hadn't followed the testimony closely.

Russian Federation beat Hungary 3-0 and drew with Chile 1-1 in last week's friendlies.

".they won't be left alone if they're identified as the grandchildren of the President", he said.

He said the two countries could also cooperate in dealing with global poverty and efforts to prevent climate change.

Perhaps the biggest softball of the night came from one man who asked "What is the largest fish you have ever caught?", to which Putin replied "20 kilograms".

  • Salvatore Jensen