‘US wants phony Russiagate probe kept alive’: NY comedian summoned over Assange interview tells RT
The US is seemingly living in the past and again eyeing a ‘cold war’ with Russia, while also pursuing its “phony Russiagate” inquiry, an American comedian asked to attend a Congress hearing over his interview with Julian Assange, told RT.
Randy Credico, a comedian, radio host and civil rights activist, received a letter earlier in November requesting him to “participate in a voluntary, transcribed interview at the Committee’s offices” during the first half of December.
The letter was signed by Congressman Michael Conaway (R-Texas), who leads the Russia investigation in the House Intelligence Committee, and the ranking member, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-California).
“They are going after me, why? Because of my connection with Julian Assange. I have been interviewing him for the last year, year-and-a-half. I’ve had him on my show. I’ve been in the [Ecuadorian] embassy [in London]. And this is just another way of keeping this phony ‘Russiagate’ inquiry alive,” Credico told RT’s Caleb Maupin.
Credico earlier confirmed that he and Assange previously held meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks co-founder has been held up since June 2012 in an effort to avoid extradition to the US. The meetings took place on September 6, November 13, and November 16 this year.
The comedian said he may testify in front of the committee, but he will definitely “use the protection of the First Amendment [freedom of speech].” US authorities “just could cite you for contempt for not testifying,” he claimed, noting that he still would resort to the protection by the First Amendment Protection.
Stressing his determination, Credico said that “they [authorities] can put me in jail, but I’m certainly not going to comply with this witch hunt, with this modern day McCarthyism, because that’s all it is.” “That nomenclature that they use calling him [Julian Assange] a hostile intelligence-gathering operation – that’s what they call the journalists,” he told RT.
RT interviewed Credico before the comedian received a summons from the House Intelligence Committee. The writ requested him “to testify at a deposition touching matters of inquiry committed to said committee or subcommittee,” says the document which Credico released on Twitter on Tuesday.
According to Credico, the US government simply wants to hush up the material he received from Assange. “They [US authorities] don’t want people to see what we have done in Libya … Syria, Palestine, [or] our build-up against Russia [and] China… anything. They don’t want it out. Iraq, Afghanistan, drone strikes – all that stuff they want to keep suppressed from the public. I want to know about it. Why can’t I know about it? ” he asked.
While touching upon Russia in detail, Credico told RT that Washington still lives back in the 1950s, in the period of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. “They [US authorities] don’t want a nuclear war, they want a cold war. You know, like they did is what the ’50s were all about. The ’50s were all about the Cold War, the Red Scare back then,” he added.
The comedian said that he doesn’t see any “Russian bases over there” in the US, however, it’s Washington who “surrounded Russia, surrounded Iran” and continues to “surround Syria and China.”
The comedian dubbed the whole thing with alleged Russia’s meddling into the 2016 US elections “hyped up and exaggerated.” The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any such interference or collusion with the Trump campaign, with Russian President Vladimir Putin stating in May that the anti-Russia spin was concocted by those who simply can’t come to terms with the fact that Clinton lost the election fair and square.
The amount of money – $100,000 – which was allegedly spent on Facebook to interfere into the election “would not get even a congressman elected or a city council member elected if he spent that kind of money on Facebook,” he added.
In fact, US media should think more about its “internal problems” rather than spend all their time talking about Russia, Credico claimed. “You ask anybody on the streets right now the top 10 problems what they are concerned about … and I guarantee Russia will not even be in the top 20, top 30,” he said. People in the US care about education, jobs and the criminal justice system, Credico believes.