Steve King: Putin Does Allow Freedom of Dissent, He Never Murdered Prominent Critic


Republican Iowa Congressman Steve King argued Sunday that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was not nearly as bad as critics charged, noting that Putin has never murdered one of his prominent critics.

King was responding to comments made by Republican Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse on ABC’s This Week earlier in the day that were critical of President Donald Trump‘s defense of Putin. “Putin is an enemy of political dissent, the U.S. celebrates political dissent and the right for people to argue free from violence about places or ideas that are in conflict,” Sasse argued in part.

“I think there’s been some overreaction on both sides of that argument,” King said on CNN. He argued that there wasn’t any moral equivalency between the United States and Russia and that he wasn’t sure that Trump was trying to claim that there was.

King also said that Putin was not as bad as Sasse was making him out to be. “Freedom of the press, dissent, I would say – Garry Kasparov now lives in the United States. He lived a long time in Russia with a very loud megaphone, and he’s still alive and well.”

Kasparov, a chessmaster turned Putin critic, has not returned to Russia since 2013 for fear of being arrested. In 2007, he was arrested for “organizing an unsanctioned procession, resisting arrest and chanting anti-government slogans.” In 2012, he was beaten and arrested again during an “unauthorized protest,” only to be released when video evidence exonerated him.

Watch above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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