Buzzfeed reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election is seeking documents from the Jill Stein campaign. Buzzfeed learned of the request from Dennis Trainor Jr., a former Stein campaign staffer. One of the things he believes the committee may be interested in is Stein’s visit to a conference and dinner hosted by propaganda network RT. At the dinner, Stein was seated near Vladimir Putin at the same table as Gen. Michael Flynn.
Trainor said he expects the Senate Intelligence Committee will want to know more about the Moscow dinner, but that he wasn’t employed by the campaign at that time and therefore wouldn’t have any documents related to the event. Stein has said that unlike Flynn, she was not paid to attend the dinner and paid for her own travel costs.
Trainor said he believes the committee is primarily interested in Stein’s appearances on RT, “vilifying anyone who’s ever appeared on or talked with anyone on the RT network.”…
“There’s a lot of smoke around RT and not a lot of fire,” he said. Trainor also believes Intelligence Community assessment refers to his own documentary about Occupy Wall Street, though not by name, in a section about RT’s alleged attempts to “fuel discontent” in the US — something he called a “body blow.”
The photo above showing Stein at the table with Flynn and Putin has been widely circulated but that was just a dinner. Stein was actually there for a day-long conference celebrating the 10th anniversary of RT. She was introduced at the December 2015 conference as the 2016 Green Party candidate for president.
Later, when her appearance at the conference became an issue, Stein would focus on her comments critical of Russia’s bombing in Syria. Looking back, most of her criticism was aimed at the United States. “We have a very powerful military-industrial complex,” Stein said. She continued, “The beast needs to be fed and it requires an enemy in order to continue to justify the massive funding which currently occupies about 50 percent of the discretionary budget of the U.S.” Her criticism of Russia basically came down to saying Russia was following the U.S.’s footsteps, that being the lowest one could stoop apparently.
In this Aug. 2017 clip from Democracy Now!, Stein says she “declined” sponsorship of her expenses, which suggests that RT offered to pay but, unlike Flynn, she said no. Maybe Stein really did see the chance to talk about Middle East peace as more valuable than the cash she was offered, but that doesn’t mean that Putin didn’t see her invitation as part of his plan to sow chaos in the 2016 election. The most useful of all the useful idiots are the ones who don’t even need to be paid to do your bidding. Here’s Jill Stein offering her message from Red Square during the 2015 trip.
Finally, here’s the panel she was a part of at the RT conference.