SI pol’s Rus­sian ex­cuse

New York Post - - NEWS - Frank Ryan

A Staten Island law­maker who praised Moscow dur­ing an over­seas trip last week claims she was try­ing to learn about Rus­sian cul­ture for her con­stituents.

“She felt it was im­por­tant to learn the cul­ture of the peo­ple she rep­re­sents,” state Sen. Diane Savino’s Chief of Staff Robert Cataldo told the Staten Island Ad­vance on Satur­day. “It’s im­por­tant to learn where peo­ple come from.”

Savino rep­re­sents Rus­sian en­claves like Brook­lyn’s Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach and Staten Island’s South Beach.

Rus­sia-funded Web site Sput­nik News quoted Savino com­mend­ing “how well the city of Moscow is run” Thurs­day dur­ing an eight-day ex­cur­sion with other Albany politicians.

A spokesman con­tends Savino never spoke to Sput­nik, which is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the feds over al­leged Krem­lin pro­pa­ganda dur­ing the 2016 elec­tion.

Law­mak­ers have said they each paid out of pocket for the trip.

SEN. DIANE SAVINO Moscow trip ed­u­ca­tional.

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