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Why Didn’t Obama Proclaim Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak Persona Non Grata?

Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak

If the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was indeed one of the “Russia’s top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington,” why then President Obama did not proclaim him persona non grata?

As the sun arises on the Capitol, Russia is back on the news cycle again. It is now becoming a pattern that anytime there is positive news on Trump administration, a new story about potential treachery looming in his Cabinet becomes the headline.

While the main story today concerns two meetings taking place between Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, as well as the Jeff Sessions’ contested testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee, there is an element to this story that warrants scrutiny and equally important line of questioning.

CNN recently published a story that included a claim by anonymous current and former US government officials stating that the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak is considered by US intelligence to be one of Russia’s top spies and spy-recruits.

Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, is considered by US intelligence to be one of Russia’s top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington, according to current and former senior US government officials

If Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak is indeed the top Russian spy, why then President Obama did not proclaim him persona non grata?

If there is solid evidence that the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislay did engage in espionage activities, why Obama did not expel him from the country with the rest of the thirty-five Russian diplomats expelled from the United States in December 2016?  Why would former President Obama expel thirty-five Russian diplomats but then keep the one for which CNN’s anonymous sources claim to be the top spy?  Sergey Kislyak served in a role of the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. since 2008, what explains the fact that for more than eight years under the Obama administration this claim that he was “ one of Russia’s top spies and spy-recruits”, did not become an issue and did not make it to the news?

If the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was indeed one of the “Russia’s top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington,” would not then former President Barak Obama need to be held accountable for not addressing the issue?

If the major corporate network, CNN, is quoting the claim of the anonymous current and former officials, wouldn’t the logical line of reasoning be to ask these same officials who served under the Obama administration why they did not do something about the Russian spy acting under the diplomatic cover? In what way President Trump could possibly be held accountable if Obama was the one who gave a free pass to the alleged Russian spy?

These are the questions that require the same rigorous examination. And, it is concerning that no corporate media network is applying the same level of scrutiny to their anonymous government sources.

Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was accepted to the United States on an active role of the Ambassador in 2008 and he remained in this role during the two terms of the Obama administration. It was not Donald Trump’s job to act on the intelligence findings concerning the alleged spy activities of  Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. That was the job and responsibility of Barack Obama. Will a single headline be dedicated towards this in the news cycle?


Read more: President Trump Signed Two Bills Into Law Today

Read more: Will America Finally Become Free From Partisan Reporting?


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  • You are totally off the point of this whole story! Jeff Sessions lied about having contact with any Russian officials during the election. That is the point. He lied! Why did Flynn and Session lie, and what are they hiding is the question you should be asking. To try and blame this on the Obama administration is a gross excuse to once again not hold those accountable who got into office by using foreign influence to throw off our campaign.

    • No. I am on point. This question concerns equal scrutiny and warrants to be examined together with the Sessions’ testimony. They all have to be equally scrutinized: Sessions, anonymous government sources and Obama. There are two equally important stories here: one concerning the claims Sessions made, and the other about the claim published by CNN that the Russian Ambassador is a top spy, if that is true, then it begs the question : why the Obama administration let him stay in the U.S. since 2008.

      • They didnt remove him because they knew that flynn was talking (legally) with him this connecting flynn to him to trump to impechment.. obama was briefed by fbi comey about the connection thus leaving him in u.s. to use as a connection between trump and flynn and russia.. its all a set up to impeach trump.. aint gonna work

        • Obama administration also set up one meeting with Sessions and Kislyak. They also met with this Ambassador 22 times before October. They expressed concern as early as July. Very suspicious.

  • After 4 months the trumpeters still want to blame President Obama for Trumps problems. Lets make this simple CNN reported that top officials thought he recruited spies for Russia. You need evidence that he recruited spies not just thinking he is.. Rule of law 101…You see I thought Jeff Sessions was talking to the Russians and now we have proof that he was talking to the Russians..I thought Flynn was talking to the Russians about the sanctions that President Obama issued and now we have proof that Flynn talked to the Russians about sanctions and probably a lot more since he “has a story to tell and wants immunity”…Come on people stop drinking the red kool aid and do some fact checking instead of listening to pundits…

About the author

Ksenija Pavlovic

Ksenija Pavlovic

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent.

Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department at Yale University, Lead Instructor in International Affairs and Security and Politics Law and Economics programs at Yale Global Scholars, Head Writing Fellow at the Yale Graduate Writing Center, Fellow of the “Research and Travel Award in Grand Strategy” from International Security Studies (ISS) at Yale University, Fellow of the Roger Hertog Global Strategy Initiative in Religious Violence at Columbia University, a Doctoral candidate in Political Conflict and Peace Building Processes at Complutense University in Madrid, Fellow of the OSI Global Supplementary Grant Program, and a Visiting Doctoral Fellow at the Juan March Institute. She holds an M.Sc. in European Politics from the London School of Economics, an M.A. in American Politics, and a B.A. in Journalism and Communication from the University of Belgrade. She speaks English, Serbian, Croatian, and Spanish.

Pavlovic has interviewed exclusively pivotal figures including Arianna Huffington, Sir Richard Branson, President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim, Karlie Kloss, filmmaker and founder of the Webby awards Tiffany Shlain, film director Lars von Trier, actors Adam Brody, Monica Bellucci, fashion designers Adolfo Dominguez, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan, publisher and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes; the world No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic; novelist Martin Amis, as well as big names in the governmental arena such as the former President of Serbia Boris Tadic, the leading members of the first democratic Serbian government and Milorad Dodik, President of the Serbian entity of BIH. Moreover, Ms. Pavlovic has exclusively covered the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, London Film Festival, Madrid Fashion Week, The Madrid Open, and a range of other international benefit and political events.


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