The Cable

Who Said it, Slamming Intel Edition: Donald Trump or the Czech President?

A quiz that is not as easy as perhaps one might think.


On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services held a hearing on foreign cyber threats to the United States with a focus on Russian interference in the American presidential election, which intelligence agencies keep confirming and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump keeps denying.

And, though Trump clarified (on Twitter, obviously) on Thursday that he is a big fan of “Intelligence” (quotes his), the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Trump is planning on scaling back intelligence agencies, which he has accused of political bias.

Meanwhile, over 4000 miles away the president of the Czech Republic has his own battle with his country’s intelligence services trying to defuse a Russian threat. President Milos Zeman is reportedly fuming over a new center established by the Interior Ministry to deal with “hybrid threats,” especially Russian disinformation. This, after Czech counter-intelligence warned that Russia is trying to sway Czech public opinion on NATO, the European Union, and populism and extremism, as it has long done in other European countries such as Germany and the Baltics.

Zeman was apparently fully onboard with the establishment of the new, 20-person center. But the famously pro-Russian president is now displeased. So, too, is his spokesperson, Jiri Ovcacek, who set up a separate Twitter account just to criticize his own country’s efforts to combat Russian disinformation. It’s almost as jarring as a U.S. president-elect preferring WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief Julian Assange to his own intel services.

And so, without further ado, we present a game of Who Said It: Team Trump or Milos Zeman’s spokesperson?

Quote 1:

“It is for the people to make up their own minds as to the truth.”

Quote 2:

“A fundamental law applies in a democratic and free society: nobody can have monopoly for truth.”

Quote 3:

“A strong warning to the mainstream media: They will not be spared.”

Quote 4:

“We’re also not in favor of our intelligence interfering with our elections after the fact.”

Quote 5:

“I take seriously the statement of [Russian] foreign minister Sergei Lavrov that there are no Russian troops [in Ukraine].”

Quote 6:

“[Vladimir Putin]’s not going into Ukraine, all right?”

Quote 7:

“Julian Assange said “a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta” – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!”


Answer 1:

Donald Trump

Answer 2:

Zeman’s spokesperson

Answer 3:

Zeman’s spokesperson, helpfully informing the mainstream media that the new hybrid threat center will watch them, too.

Answer 4:

Donald Trump’s campaign advisor, Kellyanne Conway, speaking to CNN.

Answer 5:

Milos Zeman.

Answer 6:

Donald Trump.

Answer 7:

This was a trick question. It was tweeted out by Donald Trump, but retweeted by, yes, Zeman’s spokesperson.

Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is the U.S. editor of the New Statesman and the author of The Influence of Soros, published July 2020. Twitter: @emilyctamkin

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