Russia, China Slam Bolton’s Claim That They ‘Sow Disinformation’ About the Administration By Patrick Goodenough for CNS News
The Russian and Chinese foreign ministries on Wednesday hit back indignantly at National Security Advisor John Bolton’s claim that they and other countries antagonistic to the U.S. are spreading disinformation about policy rifts within the Trump administration.
Playing down the notion of serious disagreements inside the administration, Bolton at a Wall Street Journal event this week attributed the narrative to unfriendly regimes but also blamed “the stenographers of these regimes in the American press.”
“We have substantial reason to believe that North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Russia, and China have made a decision to – and you can see it publicly – to try to sow disinformation about the administration,” Bolton said. “And to say that the president and his advisers are divided, and things like that.”
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“Seriously?” asked Maria Zakharova, foreign ministry spokeswoman in Moscow. In a Facebook posting she said Bolton’s words were “so incredible,” she had to re-read them three times.
Zakharova noted that President Trump himself, just weeks ago, posted a tweetcalling former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “dumb as a rock.” It was likely that such derisive words were born out of unity in opinions, she said.
Zakharova then turned to sarcasm.
Alluding to Trump’s Twitter use and to reports in U.S. media on disagreements inside the administration, she said Bolton had better admit that Russian trolls are running Trump’s Twitter account and that U.S. media outlets are owned by Russian oligarchs.
In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a press briefing Wednesday also commented on Bolton’s remarks.
“If I recall it correctly, these reports on the inner disagreements in the U.S. government and among American officials are mostly carried by U.S. media,” he said. “The allegation that China and Russia spread disinformation is totally blame-shifting.”