Former economic policy advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Andrei Illarionov is a senior fellow.
The pro-libertarian Cato Institute is looking into a blog article written by one of its senior fellows, a former advisor on an economic strategy to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which contains predictions about the 2020 election and tries to defend pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol last week.
In a post on his personal Live Journal blog on Friday, Andrei Illarionov, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, made unfounded claims that the police’s takeover of the Capitol was a “trap” set after deliberate “provocation” by Democrats and Black Lives Matter activists.
Additionally, he repeated unfounded claims that Antifa infiltrated the demonstrations, asserted that it is “still unknown” who will be the next president in 2020, charged that the Democratic Party’s leadership was “seeking to establish its monopoly dominance in the country,” and stated that the looters were “definitely not” breaking any laws. Constitution as they entered the structure.
The language is in sharp contrast to a statement made last week by Peter Goettler, president and chief executive officer of the Cato Institute, in which he labeled the attack on the Capitol “a direct attack on the Constitution of the United States, the rule of law, and our constitutional republic.”
According to Corie Whalen, a Cato representative, Illarionov’s remarks are currently “under consideration within senior management” and with Illarionov directly.
In a statement to POLITICO, Whalen stated that “the senior management team at the Cato Institute rejects the assertions made in the blog post by Mr. Illarionov.” Senior management is talking about the situation with Mr. Illarionov. The violent interference with constitutional processes is unacceptable and needs to be categorically rejected. Mob control is not a route to freedom. The Constitution’s guarantees of the protection of the rights and liberties of the American people are fundamentally violated by efforts to forcefully retain a defeated president in office.
In the wake of the tragic Capitol attack, several organizations and companies, including Cato, have further attempted to put themselves at odds with President Donald Trump and his backers. However, other observers are concerned that Illarionov’s remarks are justified by his association with the think tank and once more highlight the possibility of Russian attempts to stir confusion and cast doubt on the validity of American elections.
Ilya Zaslavskiy, a researcher who is currently in charge of a project on post-Soviet kleptocracy, described Illarionov’s posts as “downright hazardous,” noting that Russians and Russian-American Trump fans frequently spread them.
He appears intelligent and analytical, which feeds into further animosity and uprising, Zaslavskiy claimed.
Illarionov did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but according to his Cato Institute biography, he was Putin’s “top economic adviser” from 2000 until December 2005 and “has been a long-time friend of the Cato Institute.”
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