Legendary chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov delivered a one-two punch Monday against Russian President Vladimir Putin — and Donald Trump — as he warned of the very serious threat to American democracy that the Kremlin “dictator” continues to pose to America.
“Trump has more Russian connections than Aeroflot,” Kasparov said, referring to the Russian airline in a speech Monday at the Common Good Forum in New York. “I believe in coincidences, but I also believe in the KGB.”
The Russian dissident and human rights activist also accused Trump on MSNBC Monday of “trying to divert” the investigation of Russian interference into the U.S. presidential election to “minor details.” Trump’s “attempts to move away from the core of this investigation into some foolish stories just demonstrates that he is quite desperate, and that he wants to control this process by tweeting and by shouting,” Kasparov added.
Trump’s new fury has been directed at his latest claim that the FBI planted a mole in his campaign, and he ordered the Justice Department to investigate. Last year, he claimed that the Obama administration had ordered the FBI to wiretap meetings in Trump Tower. There is no evidence that happened.
Kasparov suspects that serious secrets about Putin and Trump’s relationship have yet to emerge. It’s suspicious, said Kasparov, that while Trump is “not shy of criticizing anybody or anything, from NATO to Meryl Streep, [he] always refrains from saying one negative word about Vladimir Putin.”
Kasparov said at the Common Good Forum that he warned years ago — and will continue to do so — that Russia would try to interfere in elections.
“Putin will attack again, here and elsewhere,” said Kasparov, who pointed out that Putin and his operatives are masters at disinformation. America’s experience now with incendiary fake news campaigns is “nothing new for us in Russia,” he said, according to Yahoo News.
He underscored his belief that Putin is “a dictator,” and Russia’s leaders and oligarchs are corrupt.
“Every country has its own mafia,” he said. “In Russia, the mafia has its own country.”
He said Americans can only defend themselves against a Kremlin onslaught if they fight for values they believe in, like truth and democracy.
“You can’t defend yourself against Putin and the Putins of this world if you don’t believe what they are attacking is worth defending,” he warned.