Liberal movie director Oliver Stone, who supported former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during the election, said he is “shocked” by the way the United States’ top intelligence agencies have treated President Donald Trump.
During an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Stone took issue with the assumption that the Kremlin influenced the 2016 presidential election. While intelligence officials in the U.S. have said Russia hacked the country’s electoral process, Stone said he’s seen little evidence to back up that claim.
“We have to have evidence of this. There's a thin amount of evidence,” he said. “It’s been told to us by three agencies — the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI. It was told to us in January, a few days before Mr. Trump came into office.”
Stone’s discussion with Carlson comes just as he released a new documentary on Showtime, “The Putin Interviews,” a four-part series featuring long-form, sit-down interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Stone has faced significant scrutiny for the documentary and was recently grilled on the matter by CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert.
During the contentious interview, Colbert suggested Stone may have been “too cozy” during his “fawning interview of a brutal dictator.”
Stone, though, didn’t tell Carlson that he’s certain Putin didn’t interfere in the U.S. presidential election. According to Stone, the current evidence to support the accusation is “thin.” Stone also seemed to suggest the conspiratorial “deep state,” a vague phrase used to describe disgruntled intelligence officials working to undermine political leaders, has predetermined — regardless of evidence — that Russia hacked the U.S. election.
It should be noted that conspiracy theories are not new territory for Stone. The liberal documentarian’s views on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is perhaps the wildest conspiracy theory he’s peddled. In Stone’s “JFK,” viewers are led to believe Kennedy was a radical progressive who upset factions within the established Democratic Party and was, therefore, on the road to assassination ever since he took the oath of office.
While the Warren Commission, the task force charged with investigating Kennedy’s murder, concluded that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted independently, not everyone is convinced. In fact, according to data complied by Gallup in 2001, an overwhelming 81 percent of Americans believe Oswald conspired with others to assassinate the president.
“You have to ask yourself, ‘Who is running the country?’” Stone told Carlson.
The progressive filmmaker slammed former CIA Director John Brennan for stirring up “fear and paranoia” about Russia-U.S. relations “without any evidence” of electoral collusion or interference.
“I’m shocked at what the CIA did and what Brennan did. It seemed like he was very hostile to Trump,” Stone said. “[T]rump was, in a sense, slapped in the face [just before taking office]. This thing is serious. It’s calling Trump, essentially, a ‘Manchurian Candidate’ — that’s as hostile as it’s ever been in a transition.”
Stone’s comments about Trump came just one day before the president seemed to confirm he is, in fact, under investigation for possible obstruction of justice over his decision last month to fire FBI Director James Comey.
Whether or not Russia interfered in the U.S. election, Stone said that if anyone influenced the outcome, it was Comey, who reopened the investigation into then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure at the State Department just 11 days before the election.