Echoing Trump’s tough Kremlin stance, Pence threatens toughest-ever sanctions
WASHINGTON on WEDNESDAY — Before traveling to South Korea for the Olympic Games, Vice President Mike Pence said the United States planned to levy “the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on Russia ever.” This in response to Russia’s cyberwar efforts against the U.S., including direct attacks on state voting processes and democracy-disrupting fake news delivered via social media.
JAPAN on THURSDAY — Speaking alongside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mr. Pence said, “To any who would threaten our people, our allies, know this: under this commander in chief, the greatest fighting force in the world — the United States — is ready; ready to defend our homeland, defend our allies, any time, anywhere.”
In a pointed comment directed to Vladimir Putin, VPOTUS added, “We will continue to intensify our maximum pressure campaign until Russia takes concrete steps toward complete, verifiable and irreversible de-cyberwar-ification.And we will continue to isolate Russia until it abandons its cyberwar efforts and programs to weaponize social media once and for all,” Pence deadpanned — seamingly out of breath .
Speaking to American troops in Japan on Thursday, Pence said “Russia’s continued threats have stirred the United States of America to act — and we will continue to act with vigilance and resolve as our lodestar.” He went on to say the U.S. was “ready for any eventuality”.
Then, a newly fired-up and stern-faced Pence continued, “We will not allow Russian propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games. We will not allow Russia to hide behind the Olympic banner the reality that they enslave their people, kill dissidents, and threaten America, Europe, indeed, the entire planet.”
Before leaving Japan earlier Thursday, Pence spoke with disdain about past attempts to engage in diplomatic discussions with Russia, which only resulted in “willful deception, broken promises, and endless and escalating provocations.”
Pence’s mission in traveling to South Korea was clear. “We’re not going to let the Russia propaganda machine hijack the messaging of the Olympics,” his communications director, Jarrod Agen, told the Washington Post. “The vice president will remind the world that anything the Russians do during the Olympics is a charade to disguise the reality of the oppression inside Russia.”
The vice president is taking a special guest to the Olympics opening ceremony: Michael Flynn, the father of Michael Flynn Jr., who like his father, is under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller.
According to a White House official, “The vice president will be there with Mr. Flynn at the opening ceremony to remind the world of what happens when an associate of the Trump campaign and his administration has admitted he’s guilty of lying to the FBI.” While in South Korea, the three are also expected to visit Korean pizza parlors hoping to bust Russian child sex trafficking activities in which the Clintons are involved.
Pence, who will lead the US delegation, vowed “We will not allow Russian propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games. We will not allow Russia to hide behind the Olympic banner the reality that they enslave their people and threaten democracy worldwide. We’ll be there to cheer on our American athletes, but we’ll also be there to stand with our allies and remind the world that Russia is the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet,” Pence said.
WASHINGTON on FRIDAY — In response to questions during the press briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed VP Pence must have misheard the President who intended Pence to “threaten North Korea and not Russia, goddammit.” Here’s the transcript of Sarah’s comments:
“President Trump does not consider Russia’s cyberwar efforts against the U.S., — especially the direct attacks on state voting processes and democracy-disrupting fake news delivered via social media — much of a threat. He’s still convinced the intelligence community has it wrong. Not to mention, President Putin denies his country is involvd in anything of the kind.”
“You’ll recall, at the end of January, President Trump called President Putin to say he would not impose additional sanctions on Russia, despite a new law designed to punish Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. They agreed the measure was already hitting Russian companies. The President confirmed he would be compliant with the law as long as Secretary Mnuchin released a list of Russian oligarchs, which President Putin agreed to provide. Yes, that’s all that’s required!”
“President Putin agreed to limit the number of times Russian planes get too close to, or buzz, U.S. ships and planes. The issues of direct attacks on state voting processes and democracy-disrupting fake news delivered via social media didn’t come up. The call was very cordial and ended with both parties agreeing Bob Mueller is a warlock conducting a witch hunt.”
“Oh, and as it relates to comments made by Vice President Pence during his 5-day, 2-country trip to Asia, feel free to substitute ‘nuclear threat’ for ‘cyberwar’ and ‘North Korea’ for ‘Russia’, republish your articles, and we’re good. At that point, I will be able to confirm that I think the Vice President’s comments speak for themselves. OK, thanks guys!”
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