Clinton criticizes UK government for blocking Russian report

Published November 12, 2019, 6:11 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By the Associated Pres

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she’s “dumbfounded” the UK government has failed to release a report on Russian influence in British politics as the country prepares for national elections.

US former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, talks to Classicist Mary Beard, at the Southbank Center in London during the launch of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience, a book by Chelsea and Hillary Clinton, in London, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP / MANILA BULLETIN)
US former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, talks to Classicist Mary Beard, at the Southbank Center in London during the launch of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience, a book by Chelsea and Hillary Clinton, in London, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Clinton told the BBC in an interview broadcast Monday that the public needs to know what is in the report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee. The government said it needs more time to consider the report before releasing it to the public, but critics claim the report has been withheld until the next Parliament because it is embarrassing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party.

“I’m dumbfounded that this government won’t release the report … because every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens,” Clinton said.

An American investigation into the 2016 US presidential election found “sweeping and systemic” interference.

Bill Browder, a former investment manager in Russia, told the BBC he gave the committee evidence on wealthy Russians working to influence British politics.

The Intelligence and Security Committee report was sent to the prime minister on Oct. 17, and it needs government approval before it is made public. Johnson’s Downing Street office says the report has not yet gone through the clearance process necessary for publication.

Lawmakers from a range of parties, including Johnson’s Conservatives, urged the government to publish the report during a debate in the House of Commons. But Foreign Office minister Christopher Pincher argued it was “not unusual” for the review of such reports to “take some time.”

Clinton also spoke with the Guardian newspaper at the event promoting “The Book of Gutsy Women,” co-authored with her daughter.

“I am, as a great admirer of Britain, concerned, because I can’t make sense of what is happening,” Clinton told the Guardian. “We have a president who admires dictators and takes their help and does all kinds of crazy stuff. So we need you to be the sane member of this partnership going forward.”

 
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