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Russian FM: ‘There Are So Many Pussies’ Around Both Presidential Campaigns

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was afraid he would not sound decent when asked about Trump's history with sexual assault.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrives for a family photo session during a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) at the Ala-Archa state residence in Bishkek on September 16, 2016. / AFP / Vyacheslav OSELEDKO        (Photo credit should read VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrives for a family photo session during a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) at the Ala-Archa state residence in Bishkek on September 16, 2016. / AFP / Vyacheslav OSELEDKO (Photo credit should read VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov isn’t exactly known for his diplomatic restraint. He has a reputation for drinking like he misses Boris Yeltsin, chain-smoking, and fighting tooth and nail to defy the United States.

“He’s a complete asshole,” a former George W. Bush official told Foreign Policy in 2013.

And on Wednesday, in an interview with CNN, he disparaged claims that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election and is colluding with Republican candidate Donald Trump as “ridiculous” and “flattering.” Last Friday, the U.S. intelligence community accused Russia of hacking into Democratic Party emails in order to influence the upcoming presidential election. Top homeland security and intelligence officials said in a statement that “only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

Trump has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and criticized the Obama administration’s icy relationship with the Kremlin, which has worsened over the past year while Russia has continuously bombarded civilians on behalf of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But when asked by CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour whether he saw any concern over a leaked tape released last week — where Trump brags about sexually assaulting women, saying he “grabs their pussies” without asking permission because “they just let you” when you’re a celebrity — Lavrov, who speaks English with only the slight hint of an accent, said he didn’t want to risk not sounding “decent” in what is not his first language.

Then he jumped in with both feet: “There are so many pussies around the presidential campaign on both sides that I prefer not to comment,” he said.

Photo credit: VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images

Siobhán O’Grady is a freelance journalist working across sub-Saharan Africa. She previously worked as a staff writer at Foreign Policy. @siobhan_ogrady

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