US President Barack Obama was inundated with questions about Russia and the influence Russian President Vladimir Putin’s has on the American public during his end-year news conference on Friday.
“They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn’t produce anything that people want to buy except for oil and gas and arms. They don’t innovate. But they can impact us if we lose track of who we are,” Obama said.
“Mr. Putin can weaken us just like he’s trying to weaken Europe if we start buying into notions that it’s OK to intimidate the press or lock up dissidents or discriminate against people because of their faith or what they look like,” added the outgoing president.
“Our vulnerability to Russia or any other foreign power is directly related to how divided, partisan, dysfunctional our political process is,” Obama said. “That’s the thing that makes us vulnerable.”