It was delivered only as a joke, but some people think it could very well have been a serious proposition. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that fired FBI Director James Comey is welcome to seek asylum in his country.
Putin said in a question and answer session in Moscow that it was “very strange” that the former FBI chief had leaked details of his private conversations with President Donald Trump. Putin even drew comparisons between what Comey did and the actions of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Putin said: “If there is some kind of persecution, we would be ready to offer political asylum to Mr. Comey if he is persecuted in the U.S.”
The Russian leader elaborated that Comey’s decision to leak to the media details of his talk with Trump had placed him “in a vulnerable position.” Putin added it also meant that Comey behaved more like an activist rather than an FBI chief.
Comey testified under oath in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month and claimed that Trump suggested that he drop the probe into the alleged links between Russia and Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Comey was fired by Trump in May over issues relating to the investigation over alleged interference by Russia in the U.S. presidential election last year.
Putin also said in the question and answer in front of a live audience that he did not consider the U.S. to be an enemy of his country. He also said he wanted a “constructive dialogue” with Washington since they have shared interests in such issues as non-proliferation, fighting poverty and tackling climate change as areas for cooperation between the two powerful nations.