July 18, 2018
On July 16, in Helsinki, Finland, the venerable Chris Wallace had an exclusive interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This interview took place shortly after the notorious joint press conference between Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump.
During this interview, there were quite a few lies told. One in particular stood out as so completely obvious it was stunning to me how easily Putin lies to the face of an American reporter. This was in regards to a particularly provocative video which Russia released earlier in the year showing off Russia’s new, purportedly undefeatable missile system which clearly shows an animation of multiple warheads directed at Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The video, which reportedly enraged President Trump (who still did nothing), is quite clear; yet during the interview with Chris Wallace, Putin completely denied that the depiction was Florida at all.
WALLACE: All right, we are running out of time anyway. Let’s move on.
Last year, Defense Secretary Mattis said that Russia is the greatest threat, Russia is the greatest threat to the United States, and he has since made it clear, an even greater threat than terrorism. In March, you introduced a new generation of Russian missiles, including what you called in invincible missile you said that could evade, defeat all of our missile defenses, and you even released a video that showed the super missile flying over the United States and hitting Florida very near where President Trump’s estate is at Mar-a-Lago. Aren’t you escalating the arms race, and aren’t you being deliberately provocative?
PUTIN: As far as the footage is concerned, they did not specify that the missile is about to hit the United States. You have to look at it more carefully. Secondly —
WALLACE: It shows Florida.
PUTIN: There was not sign Florida. There was not a caption saying Florida. Take a more careful look at it. It was never a caption Florida.
WALLACE: No, but you can see it on the map.
PUTIN: It was clear it was flying over the eastern coast of — no, no, no it couldn’t be seen on the map. Just take a closer look. And I’m not trying to scare your population with make believe threats. I’m pretty sure I can give you as a present this footage.
So, according to Putin, since there was no “caption”, it couldn’t possible be Florida. Lets look at a side by side with a similar perspective satellite image from Google Maps.
Clearly, the image on the left, from the Russian video, depicts the same land mass as that on the right, which is Florida. You can easily identify landmarks such as Tampa Bay, Lake Okeechobee, Gasparilla Pass, you can even make out Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the east coast. Captions and labels are not required.
Does Putin think we are that stupid? Are we to believe him and not our own eyes? It is fully within Putin’s character to lie easily and without compunction. As a former spymaster and KGB agent, he has been well trained to do just that.
Of course, this just reinforces the sheer ignorance of President Trump to take his word over that of the U.S. intel community, Dept. of Justice and both Houses of Congress who all agree that Russia engaged in active measure to interfere with our elections and impugn the validity of our democratic processes.
Vladimir Putin may have the best interests of Russia as his concern, and more likely the best interests of Vladimir Putin are primary. Most assuredly, he does not have the best interests of the United States of America in mind at all. As I have stated before, Vladimir Putin is playing a zero-sum game, where he believes Russia will gain everything the U.S. loses; and he is doing his best to insure that we lose as much as possible.