As part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee looked at charges that Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate, had ties to the foreign power.

“I was investigated by the committee,” Stein said during a telephone interview Wednesday, and she handed over all the relevant information she could find.

Jill Stein, former presidential candidate for the Green Party. Provided

Stein said a committee staffer interviewed her and the panel, whose members include U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, both of Maine, and “basically they found zero to follow up on.”

The committee’s most recent report found that Russian agents used social media in 2016 to denigrate Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and support “the candidacy of either fellow Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders or Green Party candidate Jill Stein,” at Clinton’s expense.

One specific example it cited found the Russians created videos that sought “to dissuade African-American voters from participating in the 2016 presidential election, while others encouraged African-Americans to vote for Jill Stein.”

Stein said she didn’t have a problem with the committee probing the issue given that it was “not far-fetched” to think the Russians may have interfered with the presidential race in which she placed fourth. “It was important to investigate,” she said.

She said that while it’s true Russia interfered in the 2016 election, it’s important to put the meddling “into the broader context” that includes the reality that the U.S. has often interfered in other countries’ elections.

“We need to abhor election interference by anybody,” she said, “but we have to look at it in its totality.”

“Russia is a relatively moderate player,” Stein said.

Stein was a favorite of the Russian propaganda network RT during the campaign. A photograph of her at an RT-sponsored dinner in Russia in 2015, where she sat alongside Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, helped spur concern about her role in the race.

Stein complained that both she and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat who is running for president, have been called Russian assets simply because they are anti-war.

She said what really put her in the crosshairs is a “New McCarthyism” in the air that doesn’t have any use for independents and small political parties such as the Greens.

Stein said the new Cold War underway with Russia and, to a lesser degree, China, helped spur the concerns that drove the committee. She put the blame for the warlike atmosphere on a military-industrial complex that has such a big stake in having the country continue to spend big money on armaments.


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