Russian President Vladimir Putin mocked the impeachment vote held by House Democrats in the U.S. during his annual press conference on Thursday evening. Putin accused the Democrats of trying to “achieve results through other means” after losing the 2016 election to Donald Trump, and derided the impeachment process as “just the continuation of domestic political strife” in America.
Putin was responding to a question from reporters at his press conference about the effect of the impeachment vote on his relations with the Trump administration. Putin waved the matter aside as relatively inconsequential to Russia, but added the impeachment saga is not over yet.
“The Senate vote – where, as far as I know, the Republicans have the majority – still lies ahead. They will hardly want to oust a representative of their party from power for some trumped-up reasons,” Putin said.
“This is just the continuation of the domestic political strife. The party, which lost the election, the Democratic Party, tried to achieve results through other means, accusing Trump of colluding with Russia. Later on, it turned out that there had been no collusion, so this cannot be the basis for impeachment. Now they are referring to alleged pressure on Ukraine,” he said.
“I don’t know what it is all about. Your members of Congress should know better,” he concluded.
As for his own political future, Putin took the opportunity of his year-end press conference to muse that Russia’s constitutional ban against serving more than two consecutive terms as president might have outlived its usefulness.
“Your humble servant served two terms consecutively, then left his post, but with the constitutional right to return to the post of president again, because these two terms were not successive,” Putin noted, referring to the period between 2008 and 2012 when he became prime minister. The presidency was assumed by Dmitry Medvedev, who took Prime Minister Putin’s advice on how to be president very seriously.
Putin claimed Russia’s presidential term limit “troubles some of our political analysts and public figures,” so “maybe it could be removed.”