Not content to beat the ‘Russiagate’ drum in the US, Hillary Clinton has used a book tour in the UK to sound the alarm about supposed Russian interference in British politics. Critics say her tour is election meddling in itself.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office has refused to publish an Intelligence and Security Committee report into supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 Brexit vote until after next month’s general election. Though critics have accused Johnson of “sitting on” the report to hide Conservative collusion with Russia, insider sources say it reveals no evidence of interference.
Enter Hillary Clinton. The failed 2016 US presidential candidate – who has repeatedly blamed the Kremlin for her loss at the ballot box to Donald Trump – called the PM’s delay “shameful,” and said she is “dumbfounded that this Government won’t release the report about Russian influence.”
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Speaking in a series of radio and television interviews while promoting her book, ‘Gutsy Women’, in the UK, Clinton went on to tread over well-worn ground.
“People deserve to know what is in that report,” she said. “We had a somewhat similar problem in 2016.”
“There is no doubt. We know it in our country, we have seen it in Europe, we have seen it here, that Russia in particular is determined to try to shape the politics of Western democracies, not to our benefit, but to theirs,” she told the BBC.
Downing Street maintains that the report is being withheld pending vetting, and due to long-standing ‘purdah’ rules, which prohibit the publication of anything controversial in the six weeks leading up to an election. As such, some critics have accused Clinton of campaigning for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by pushing for the report’s release.
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“If Jeremy Corbyn thinks that Hillary Clinton’s announcements on the radio will be helpful, he is deluded as David Cameron when he thought that President Obama’s intervention during the EU Referendum would help the Remain cause,” Tory MP Michael Fabricant told the Daily Mail.
Others saw Clinton serving herself, and reliving 2016 all over again.
“The Russia conspiracy never dies with Hillary,” Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said, adding that such statements are “typical of her.”
“She even said I was funded by them.”
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