During a press conference on Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova dropped a bombshell that her country has damaging information the Obama administration asked them to “keep secret” — and they just might leak it.
While answering a question about how she sees “the future of Russian-US diplomatic relations in the context of the current atmosphere in Washington,” Zakharova said they have soured over the last few years.
She used as her example, the announcement of details for official visits, according to an English transcript provided by the Kremlin.
“To tell the truth,” Zakharova said, “over the past few years we’ve seen many strange things happen in Washington in connection with preparations for visits or talks by our foreign ministers. The US Department of State has more than once asked us not to announce planned visits until the last minute. This is not our tradition. We have been operating openly for years, but we have respected the requests we have received from our colleagues in Washington in the past few years.
“But what happened after that? First, the US Department of State asked us to keep the planned visit quiet and not to announce it until the last possible minute, until we coordinated the date. We did as they asked. But a day or two later the information was leaked by the US State Department and sometimes by the US administration. Frankly, this put Russia and the media in a strange situation, because they didn’t know who to believe – the official agencies or the many leaks,” Zakharova said.
She said the Russian government would be transparent about such visits.
“As I said, such cases in our relations with the US Department of State have become a bad tradition over the past few years. So, I can say in response to your question that we will make the date and format of contacts between the Russian and US foreign ministers public after we coordinate them. We won’t keep them quiet.
“At this point, I don’t have any information I can share with you. I can say that this visit and such contacts are possible in principle, but it would be premature to talk about timeframes.”
She then said if things continue on the present course, it may be damaging for former President Barack Obama.
“Also, I would like to say that if the practice of leaking information that concerns not just the United States but also Russia, which has become a tradition in Washington in the past few years, continues, there will come a day when the media will publish leaks about the things that Washington asked us to keep secret, for example, things that happened during President Obama’s terms in office. Believe me, this could be very interesting information,” Zakharova said, according to the English transcript.
“Our American colleagues must decide if they respect the diplomatic procedure, if they keep their word on the arrangements made between us, primarily arrangements made at their own request, or we create a few very nice surprises for each other.”