Russian President Vladimir Putin openly blamed the United States on Wednesday for the International Olympic Committee’s decision to ban Russia from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, saying it was a “well-orchestrated campaign” by American officials hoping to win more medals.
“All this looks like an absolutely well-orchestrated campaign and a politically motivated decision,” Putin told Russian news on Wednesday. “We see this and I have no doubts about that.”
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister also trashed the decision this week, blasting Washington’s use of “dirty and political tricks” to boot his country from the international games.
“For a long time we’ve experienced attempts by the United States to put pressure on international sports organizations,” he said. “We are for competition in sports and for ridding this sphere of dirty political tricks. We do hope that this approach will prevail in Washington sooner or later.”
On Tuesday, the IOC officially banned Russian athletes from competing in the upcoming games following years of suspected doping scandals and the use of under-aged women in various competitions.
The IOC has said that specific athletes who comply with rigorous drug testing and screening will be allowed to compete as an “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)” but will not be permitted to use their national flag or anthem.
COLD WAR: US Shuts Down Russian Consulate, Offices in NY and DC
The United States has ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco as well as other missions throughout the country in retaliation for the Kremlin ejecting over 750 American diplomats earlier this year, reports the Associated Press.
The US Department of State announced the closures on Thursday, adding that the US would force Russia to “scale back” its diplomatic missions in New York City as well as their embassy in the nation’s capital.
Earlier this summer, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the expulsion of 755 US diplomats from Russia.
Putin claimed the move was a protest to recently passed US sanctions against Russia over allegations the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 presidential elections, an accusation Moscow has repeatedly denied.
“While there will continue to be a disparity in the number of diplomatic and consular annexes, we have chosen to allow the Russian Government to maintain some of its annexes in an effort to arrest the downward spiral in our relationship,” said a statement from the US State Department.
“The United States hopes that, having moved toward the Russian Federation’s desire for parity, we can avoid further retaliatory actions by both sides and move forward to achieve the stated goal of both our presidents: improved relations between our two countries and increased co-operation on areas of mutual concern,” it adds.
COLLUSION: Mueller Hires ANOTHER Democrat for Trump-Russia Witch Hunt
The special counsel in charge of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory witch-hunt has hired yet another democratic donor to spearhead the investigation; raising the number to eight individuals who had previously given money to prominent liberals like Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
According to Reuters, New York defense attorney Greg Andres has joined Mueller’s task force charged with probing the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russian government officials.
Federal Election Commission filings show that Andres gave nearly $4000 to the democratic party, including $2700 to help NY Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign in 2017.
The Daily Caller also reports that Andres’ wife, Ronnie Abrams, is a federal judge appointed by none-other-than former President Barack Obama back in 2011.
Robert Mueller has come under fire for hiring left-leaning, democratic donors to help run his investigation of the Trump administration. The President and other GOP lawmakers are calling on Mueller to step down from the probe over these conflicts of interest, as well as his close relationship with former FBI director James Comey.
“I can say that the people that have been hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters, some of them worked for Hillary Clinton,” The President said during an interview in late June. “I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous if you want to know the truth.”
h/t Daily Caller