By Mohammad Ghaderi & Javad Heirannia

Russia interfered in U.S. elections to get Trump elected: Askari

January 16, 2019

TEHRAN – Professor Hossein Askari, an expert on Saudi Arabia who also teaches international business at the George Washington University, believes that “Trump has had business dealings with the Russians for many years. They have helped him.

He is indebted to them and they have some compromising business information on him,” Hossein Askari, who served as special advisor to Saudi finance minister, tells the Tehran Times.

He adds that “They have interfered in the U.S. elections to get him elected with the hope and expectation that they could control him to help Russian interests—to divide Americans, destroy U.S. global leadership and fracture NATO.”

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: Should we think of Russia collusion case as a mere political plot to destroy trump or is Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections a fact?

A: We don’t have all the facts for a definitive answer. But here is what I think or my best guess. I think that Trump has had business dealings with the Russians for many years. They have helped him. He is indebted to them and they have some compromising business information on him. They have interfered in the U.S. elections to get him elected with the hope and expectation that they could control him to help Russian interests—to divide Americans, destroy U.S. global leadership and fracture NATO.

Q: Robert Mueller is Republican. So his defiance against Trump might show that disaster is even beyond the imagination. What's your opinion on this?

A: Yes, Mueller is a Republican. But he is respected by Democrats as well as Republicans. His career has been exemplary. With this stature, it is hard for people to call him partisan. He is just a great public servant. No matter if he is investigating a Democrat or a Republican. I believe after all is said and done, one person will emerge as a hero—Mueller. He is dedicated, principled and truthful. Trump calls everyone who disagrees with him a liar, but ironically he is the biggest liar that I have ever seen in public office anywhere in the world.

Q: In regard to leaked information to the media, could it be something more than a political interference to change the result of the election? Could it be a sign of a deep security infiltration?

A: No, I don’t think there is deep infiltration. But my guess is that Trump has disclosed U.S. secrets to Russia. I believe that he acts in Russia’s interests but I think that the U.S. agencies are not compromised. I say this because of the way Trump acted during the campaign and especially since he has been President.

Q: If we are to accept the assumption that Russia infiltrated the U.S. governance structures, what do you think is the origin of this interference?

A: Again, I don’t believe they have done this. But they have Trump protecting Russia’s interests and divulging important U.S. secrets directly to Putin. The origin of this is Trump and his business dealings. Loans, money laundering and more.

Q: Some experts believe that the relations of Trump's family members, especially Jared Kushner, with a big multinational Mafia is the origin of such a vast infiltration into different layers of the U.S. political system and information structure.

A: I don’t agree with this. However, I do believe that Trump and Kushner worship money. Money is their God. So in this sense they will do anything for money. They will associate with anyone to get more money. But not a multinational Mafia.

Q: A look into the U.S. policies since 2016 shows how its position as a superpower has been undermined while at the same time, Russia has been strengthening its international position. What's your opinion on this matter?

A: I agree with this conclusion. The U.S. has been indecisive. Its global reputation has been tarnished beyond short-term repair. It has not used its soft power well. Always the military and support for dictators. This has caused thousands of innocent deaths. The U.S. is seen as racist and anti-Muslim and anti-democratic values. A recent London Economist report rated the U.S. as FLAWED democracy! How can the world respect a country that has a serial liar as its president, supports brutal dictators, sell arms that kill innocent civilians and imposes economic sanctions that hurt millions of innocent people while going soft on its adversary, Russia.

Q: Less than one year, some western media revealed that some people in Kushner's inner circle (such as Senator Tom Cotton) had relations with Mossad and spied on the U.S. senate intelligence committee. At the same time, some other media indicated Russian infiltration into Mossad and even their infiltration into Israel and the U.S. security intelligence structures. Do you think that there is any relations with the Russia collusion case and other infiltration claims?

A: No, I don’t think that such a web, if it exists, was planned.

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