‘This is spy movie stuff’: Rachel Maddow worries Putin may assassinate — inside America
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow (screengrab)

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Friday worried that Russian President Vladimir Putin could attempt to assassinate on American soil.

The host explained how the United States protects former spies they have to exfiltrate and bring to the United States for protection.

"I know this is spy movie stuff. But real life, this is scary, dangerous and dark stuff, right? Attempting to protect people who have -- at great personal risk -- have decided to help the United States," she explained.

"Well, the news this week from Berlin, that according to U.S. officials, it was the Russian government that tracked them down and assassinated a former Chechen rebel, not in Chechnya, not in Russia, but in Germany, in the capital city of Germany, just steps away from the office of the German chancellor," she said.

"That news, along with the outing of a man who is reported to be a former Russian spy now living in the U.S. under American protection after he provided key information to U.S. intelligence for decades, including the key central information that led to the investigation in terms of Russia interfering with the election," Maddow explained. "The confluence of those two stories, by of which unfolded in the last couple days, of course, raise the prospect, raise the worry that Russia might go after this U.S. intelligence source that’s just been outed, maybe even here in the U.S."

For analysis, Maddow interviewed Joseph Augustyn, the former director of the CIA's Defector Operations Center.

"As I said, and you just quoted, Putin is a very vengeful, revengeful individual. He’ll put people on target lists," Augustyn worried. "There’s a red line that most people think in the United States that Putin will not cross. I believe he straddles it as we speak."

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