Vladimir Putin Interviews War broke out on U.S. television Thursday morning when Showtime released the first extended clip, trailer and poster art for Oliver Stone’s The Putin Interviews. The pay cabler will air the interview over four consecutive nights, debuting Monday, June 12 at 9 PM ET.
Not coincidentally, a few hours earlier, NBC News’ Megyn Kelly announced on Today, to the surprise of no one, that when she moderates that International Economic Forum with Putin in St. Petersburg tomorrow — as reportedly brokered by NBC News chairman Andy Lack — she also will get some one-on-one time with Putin. That footage will be used for the launch of her new Sunday newsmag two days later. “We just got word this morning that President Putin has agreed to sit with yours truly for a one-on-one interview at the conclusion of tomorrow’s forum…so that ought to be fun,” Kelly beamed.
In Showtime’s clip, Stone is seen asking Putin, “As ex-KGB you must have hated what Snowden did with every fiber of your being,” as the Russian ruler is behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
“No. Not at all,” Putin shot back. “Snowden is not a traitor; he did not betray the interests of his country. Nor did he transfer any information to any other country which would have been pernicious to his own country or to his own people. The only thing Snowden does he does publicly.” Stone replies: “Did you agree with what he did?”
“No,” Putin answered, adding that “Snowden was right” the National Security Agency had gone too far in its eavesdropping, but “I think he shouldn’t have done it.”
Stone also asks Putin how he “feels” about Russian intel activities and surveillance.
“I think they’re working quite well,” Putin responds, insisting, “Our intelligence services always conform to the law. That’s the first thing. And secondly, trying to spy on your allies, if you really consider them allies and not vassals, is just indecent. Because it undermines trust. And it means that in the end it deals damage to your own national security.”
Your move, NBC News!