Jok­ing Putin of­fers ‘asy­lum’ for ousted Comey

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD - — Nicole Ault

Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin couldn’t re­sist a dig at Wash­ing­ton’s all-con­sum­ing scan­dal Thurs­day, say­ing fired FBI chief James B. Comey is wel­come in Moscow if things get too hot back home.

Mr. Putin made the face­tious of­fer as part of his lat­est an­nual marathon phone con­ver­sa­tion with the Rus­sian peo­ple, in which vot­ers are al­lowed to sub­mit any ques­tion they want to the au­thor­i­tar­ian Rus­sian leader. Pres­i­dent Trump dis­missed Mr. Comey last month, cit­ing his un­hap­pi­ness with the FBI’s con­tin­u­ing probe into charges of Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 elec­tion.

“If [Mr. Comey] faces cer­tain con­se­quences after this and so on, we would be ready to of­fer Mr. Comey po­lit­i­cal asy­lum in Rus­sia,” Mr. Putin joked, liken­ing the for­mer di­rec­tor to Ed­ward Snow­den, the for­mer NSA con­trac­tor now liv­ing in Rus­sia in 2013 after leak­ing clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion from the spy agency.

Mr. Putin’s four-hour-long in­ter­view Thurs­day fo­cused on a broad range of is­sues both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional.

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