A Russian lawmaker and close ally of Vladimir Putin sent a message to American voters that they should vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump or be prepared to face a nuclear war.
In an interview with Reuters, Vladimir Zhirinovsky — who is known in some circles as the Russian Donald Trump because of his fiery rhetoric and extreme views — said that Trump is the only person who can defuse mounting tensions between Moscow and Washington.
“Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump,” Zhirinovsky said. “But if they vote for Hillary it’s war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere.”
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, said the veteran Russian lawmaker, could very well spark World War III.
In Russia, Zhirinovsky is considered to be something of a clownish figure, Reuters explained, and is known for making outrageous statements in order to draw attention to himself and keep his name in the news.
“Relations between Russia and the United States can’t get any worse. The only way they can get worse is if a war starts,” he said during the interview, which took place in Zhirinovsky’s huge office on the 10th floor of Russian’s lower house of Parliament, the Duma.
Russia is playing perhaps its biggest role in U.S. politics since the end of the Cold War in the 2016 election cycle. U.S. officials have blamed the Kremlin and Russian intelligence operatives for a series of hacks of Democratic Party computers and email systems.
Trump, at one campaign appearance, urged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee’s private communications.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said in July. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”