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Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone on Friday dismissed HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher’s concerns about Russian interference in U.S. elections, telling him that American intelligence agencies are notoriously unreliable.
Maher mentioned a section of a recently released Senate Intelligence Committee report noting that one-time 2016 Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort “directly and indirectly communicated” with Russian national Konstantin Kilimnik as well as other pro-Russian oligarchs in Ukraine during the election cycle. He also noted the report said that long-time Trump ally Roger Stone was linked to Wikileaks’s dump of Hillary Clinton emails.
But Stone, 73, simply waved off Maher’s concerns with his hand.
“You can’t really think that a Russian president … should be able to rat-f— our elections like this, can you?” Maher asked the liberal director of hit films “Platoon” and “JFK,” among others.
“Oh Bill, I’ve known you all too long and I think you’re sophisticated enough to know — we have to question everything that comes out of our intelligence agencies,” Stone said. “If you haven’t learned that by now, you’ve got a long way to go still.”
“So they’re lying?” Maher asked, noting that the chairman of the Senate panel is a Republican.
Phew I got really worried when I saw that Oliver Stone was trending in the US but thankfully it's just because a bunch of Russiagaters are extremely pissed off at him. pic.twitter.com/8zf4sAxIEd
— 🌱 Miles Reeunk Robinson 🍞⬅️☭🌹 (@oddfox) August 22, 2020
“Intelligence agencies are not reliable. They’ve been screwing with America going back to the Vietnam War, going back to the Iraq Wars, the Afghanistani wars,” Stone responded.
“It’s very hard to find out the truth from them. Everything they publish — the rumors, the anonymous sources, the think tanks, the anti-Russia — it all adds up into this ball of wax that becomes enormous. And then they have people like you, who are skeptical generally, believing it. I would really triple-check everything, every one of those sources. What I read of it, it wasn’t that specific,” he continued.
Regarding Manafort, Stone said he found it “bizarre” the way that special counsel Robert Mueller “went after” him.
“The fact is, he wasn’t that intelligent and he didn’t have much to say or do about any of this,” Stone continued. “He was trying to make some money in Ukraine.”
Indeed, as investigative reporter John Solomon noted in an April 2019 report for The Hill, the Obama Justice Department investigated Manafort’s Ukrainian activities.
look through the currently trending "oliver stone" hashtag and whenever "michael moore" is trending and all you'll see is an unending sea of deranged asset-owning liberal boomers frantically rage-crying bc their fav TV show had a guest on who said something they don't like
— ☀️👀 (@zei_squirrel) August 22, 2020
“[FBI] Agents interviewed Manafort in 2014 about whether he received undeclared payments from the party of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and whether he engaged in improper foreign lobbying,” Solomon wrote. “The FBI shut down the case without charging Manafort.”
Mueller’s team, however, would later charge — and convict — Manafort for financial crimes related to his Ukraine work.
After Maher asked Mueller about a Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, who was reportedly poisoned last week, Stone advised taking a wait-and-see approach.
“We’re in a moment in time where everything, anything about China or Russia is being broadcast loudly to the American people,” Stone said. “We have a very effective Western media that does this all the time.”
Noting that Stone has often been associated with a number of “conspiracies,” especially regarding his film JFK, “we seem to be in a place now where the conspiracies hide in plain sight with Trump.”
Any people who support this disgusting homophobic scum Oliver Stone are the enemies of LGBT people. Oliver Stone is a perfect Putin's puppet.https://t.co/kGwSgwQzpz
— Anthony (@anthony_arrais) August 22, 2020
Continuing, Maher claimed that Trump “said the other day, basically, ‘I’m screwing with the post office so people can’t mail in their ballot.”
“Listen, I’m not gonna argue, I mean, I’m not voting for Trump and he is a sad figure, he was the wrong choice to be president,” Stone responded.
“But to make our foreign policy dependent on attacking Trump, to get rid of Trump and creating a Cold War environment with China and with Russia and with other countries is crazy and this stigmatization is not a policy,” Stone, who has just released a new book about his early directing days called “Riding the Light,” continued.
“So they’re looking for everything possible to build up this Russia, James Bond, Dr. No scenario. You think the Russians — I’m sorry, I’ve been over there a lot — do you think they sit around and think about America all the time? They don’t care,” Stone said.
**Warning: Strong language
Bill Maher gave himself away at least 15 years ago when he sided with anti-vaxers. Oliver Stone… being a skilled filmmaker doesn't keep you from being batshit crazy.
— Amy Doghouse (@AmyDoghouse) August 22, 2020
“They’ve got their own problems and they have a country that is vibrant and they want to make it work. They have a lot of issues like we do. They’re not thinking about our election as you think they are,” the award-winning director said, adding that Americans “are self-obsessed” and “can’t understand that other people don’t look at it the same way.”
Later, Stone added, “Keep in mind, Bill, and you know damn well, how many elections have we interfered with and how many countries in the world interfered with — with money and all kinds of dirty tricks. It’s a double standard here.”
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