After returning from Russia on a U.S. delegation to the State Duma, U.S. Senator John Neely Kennedy said that dealing with the Russian government is like “dealing with the mafia.” “Their philosophy is money and power. That’s the philosophy of Putin. He rules with an iron hand. He’s a dictator,” Kennedy said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was none too pleased to hear this, and on July 10 he told reporters that it seems the American establishment is “possessed by stereotypes and Russophobia.” “Of course, it’s hard to understand such talk, and I don’t know the context of the statement,” Peskov said.