Did Russia make Donald trump President of the United States? Oliver stone (Oliver Stone) doesn’t believe in it, which is not surprising, given its long-standing revisionist views of American history and institutions. “If we analyze the situation in a slightly broader context, is Sheldon Adelson (Sheldon Adelson) had a much more significant impact?— he asks. How about the Koch brothers? Did not Israel had a much more significant impact?”
There is no doubt that disputes around this issue are a great advertisement for “Interview with Putin” — a series of conversations Mr. stone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The heated debate around Russia’s interference in the presidential election of 2016 and a possible connection between Russia and the administration of the trump attracted to this series of conversations a lot more attention than you normally get of interviews with foreign leaders.
Another question is, how favorable is it. Channel Showtime, which will show “Interview with Putin” four nights in a row, starting Monday, June 12, gave reporters only two of the four series. Therefore, the material of one of the conversations Mr. stone with Mr. Putin, which took place after the election of Mr. trump, in February, will be available later.
But, judging from the first two episodes of the conversation, Mr. stone and Mr. Putin can not be called confrontational interviews. Mr. stone, who held his first interview with Mr. Putin while he was in Russia for the filming of “Snowden” (about that meeting agreed by one of the producers of the film), behaving respectful and friendly. It allows Mr. Putin to say, from time to time interfering with a monologue to focus on the statements about provocations of America and the suffering Russia. Observers and political commentators, most likely, will long argue about the likes of Mr. stone and on the statements of Mr. Putin, who has not met any objections.
Thursday, June 8, I spoke with Mr. stone just at the moment when the ex-FBI Director James Comey (James B. Comey) testified in the Senate for investigation, answering the question, did Mr. trump to prevent the Russian investigation of this Agency. Below are edited excerpts of our conversation.
Michael Hale: What do you think about the testimony of Mr. Comey?
Oliver stone: they have a lot of smoke, but I see almost no fire.
— Viewers will watch this series of interviews is in this context that wasn’t there a time when you worked on it.
— As he says Mr. Putin is in the fourth Chapter, we are talking about the internal political events in America. Because he have had no relations — he said so himself — he didn’t influence the American elections. From his point of view, it is simply impossible.
I’m here to give Mr. Putin a chance to speak. Let him speak. If I can push it to a Frank conversation that carefully and thoughtfully relate to his words, I as a reporter have to do it. I am also a playwright. I encourage my actors to play better. To say any more. Show me a show.
— You will gain a huge benefit from the hype that now surrounds the news of the Russian investigations.
— I even can’t imagine the mindset of an American who actually believes that Russia has influence on these elections. If these people think so, so be it. If they will find this series of interviews is evidence that Mr. Putin is a bad man, so be it. Russia can blame for all the troubles and misfortunes of the world — that’s what we often do with 1917.
I would say that if you are really interested in the elections — although this is the fourth Chapter — this is not the full story. A complete history is the history of Russia, as well as the experience gained by Mr. Putin as President. The picture is much broader than many people think.
— So, we should not expect some sensations and revelations?
You mean scenes similar to the court scene in the movie about John Kennedy? I can’t create a movie like this. This all seemed very exciting, because with every passing hour chatting with him, you know him better, you start to understand better.
— What do you think about Mr. Putin now, after a few conversations?
He impressed me with his leadership qualities. He impressed me with the way he defends the interests of Russia. He is a true son of Russia. As for my personal feelings, I admire his discipline, the ability to do his job for 16 years old, his stamina, how he works. As far as I know, no us President never worked. In this sense, he reminds me of Jimmy Carter — I mean, his dedication to work.
— Have you seen a man who, according to his critics, ordered to kill their political opponents and journalists, and who earned a fortune thanks to his post?
— I think that in the third and fourth chapters I have put this question bluntly, when we are already sufficiently acquainted with each other. I think his sign language by the time they become quite obvious. He’s not telling me everything: he is concealing the truth. Whether he is rich? Maybe, but not to the extent which he is credited. I judge by his whole demeanor, the way he talks about money.
I think I challenged him. You might think that I was too lenient with him, but I think I challenged him. And the seriousness of this call to the latest episodes increased, especially when we’re talking about his future and about his plans for the election. Money, corruption. I tried to ask the bold questions as possible. I knew that if I was going farther, it may just stop any of our interview and to refuse further interviews without explanation.
— At the end of the second episode he says with a Cheshire cat smile that often appears on his face — that Russia does not interfere in the Affairs of other countries.
— You yourself should think about that. Remember when I talked about Mr. trump, I said to Mr. Putin: “If you said you hate trump, he would have won.” I think he is also very surprised. He also said that criticism of Russia is an integral part of all election campaigns in the United States. And it’s true.