Political News

GOP Rep. Kinzinger: Russia running 'KGB playbook' in Middle East

Posted June 7

Russia is willfully sowing seeds of chaos in the Middle East, according to a Republican congressman and Air Force veteran who served in Iraq.

"Russia doesn't care about chaos in the Middle East," Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, said on CNN's "New Day" Wednesday morning in the wake of CNN's exclusive report that US investigators believe that Russia planted a fake news story that contributed to a crisis among the US' closest Gulf allies. "They look at every opportunity as what can benefit them and what they see in the Gulf States is a coalition of people against Iran, a coalition of nations that really are friendly to the United States."

"In Russia, whenever there is chaos, there is opportunity," Kinzinger, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, continued. "They see an opportunity among chaos to either hurt the United States, to give Russia a play in the Middle East -- so that's exactly their play here: they just want to sow chaos."

CNN's Alisyn Camerota then asked him what President Donald Trump should do about Russia's alleged meddling with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which have both been allied with the United States.

Kinzinger cautioned the President should stay out of it, "take a deep breath and move forward," and understand this is what Russia wants. He said the United States is in a great position to "quarterback" relations between countries.

"When Russia plants fake news stories, this is where the whole world needs to be aware it didn't just happen in the United States, it's not just happening in Europe," he said. "Russia is running the old KGB playbook but they're using 21st century technology to do it."

Camerota then steered the conversation toward Kinzinger's own use of 21st century technology: a tweet the congressman directed at Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia Tuesday night.

In the congressman's own words, when the Russian portion of the tweet is translated to English, it reads, "Mr. Putin, please stay away from our democracy and, in essence, shove off."

Earlier Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed what he called CNN's "fake" reporting on the planting of the fake news story.

"It's another lie that was published," he told reporters. "Unfortunately, our colleagues from CNN again and again publish references to unnamed sources in unnamed agencies, etc, etc. These streams of information have no connection with the reality. It's so far away from the reality. Fake is a fake."

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