Jill Stein ran to the left of Hillary Clinton, but her views frequently line up with Vladimir Putin — whose policies contradict many of the left-wing values she champions.
Journalist Casey Michel reported for The Daily Beast on Stein’s political ties to Putin, who considers Clinton his enemy, and how the Kremlin-sponsored media outlets promote anti-American views aimed at both the far-right and far-left in the U.S.
“Stein presents herself as a champion of the underclass and the environment, and an opponent of the surveillance state and corporate media, and yet she seemed to take pleasure in her marriage of true minds with a kleptocratic intelligence officer who levels forests and arrests or kills critical journalists and invades foreign countries,” Michel wrote. “Their true commonality, of course, is that both Putin and Stein are dogged opponents of U.S. foreign policy.”
Intelligence officials explained to both Donald Trump and President Barack Obama last week how Russia uses media outlets such as RT, formerly known as Russia Today, to undermine domestic trust in American democratic institutions.
According to intelligence officials, RT also actively collaborated with WikiLeaks to peel away American leftists from Clinton, who Putin despises for challenging the fairness of Russian elections.
Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, was heavily promoted by RT during the election campaign and was invited to Moscow last year for the network’s 10-year anniversary.
It’s not clear who paid for her December 2015 trip, although a former British spy claims in the infamous “golden showers” memo that the Kremlin did so indirectly, but her campaign has refused to comment on the matter.
Stein sat at the same table as Putin during the event, along with Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, Trump’s pick for national security advisor, who has admitted he was paid by RT to attend.
Green Party officials in Europe were shocked that Stein seemed more opposed to Clinton than Trump, and one Swiss party official called her “delusional.”
Stein spoke at an RT-sponsored panel, where she praised Putin as a political novice who agreed with her “on many issues,” and she has echoed Russian propaganda about NATO and a U.S.-backed “coup” in Ukraine.
“Instead of fomenting a hostile Ukraine we should be leading the way in establishing a neutral Ukraine that would allow Russia to not feel under attack,” Stein said on her campaign website.
RT also hosted the Green Party’s presidential debate last year and carried live updates of Stein’s reactions to the debates between Clinton and Trump.
Michel argues that RT spends more time targeting the American far-left than the far-right, and he said the Kremlin-backed Sputnik network does the same.
He doesn’t ascribe any motives to Stein’s seeming allegiance to Putin, but Michel believes that her criticism — amplified by WikiLeaks — may have cost Clinton crucial votes in swing states.
“Putin has cultivated dupes, fellow travelers, and purblind fools among plenty of American progressives who, whether by accident or design, have facilitated the rise of the most extremist and reactionary president this country has ever elected,” Michel wrote.