A Buzzfeed report claims Russian President Vladimir Putin once recommended action movie star Steven Seagal as an official intermediary between himself and President Obama, following years of public friendship between Seagal and the Russian head of state.
In 2013, Putin and Obama met in Northern Ireland during a G8 summit. That is when Putin reportedly suggested Obama “make Steven Seagal an honorary consul of Russia in California and Arizona, and thus a potential intermediary between the White House and the Kremlin.”
“Our reaction was, ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’” said the official.
The Kremlin denied Putin ever suggested the idea.
“There is a lot of exaggerated and incorrect information in this article,” stated Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “[Seagal] indeed has deep sympathy toward our country, and he has met with the president several times, and they have a good relationship.”
Seagal and Putin bonded throughout the years over their mutual love of martial arts. Putin is often photographed participating in judo. The relationship between the two blossomed in 2013, when Putin first mentioned the idea of reviving the old Soviet GTO, which stands for Ready for Labor and Defense, which requires children to pass a fitness test in school. He brought Seagal to a school to announce the plan, and the star even showed off a few moves for the kids. Putin addressed the program exactly a year later and explained he would use unused Olympic funds. He brought Seagal along again to promote the program.
Some months later, members of Congress reached out to Seagal before they went to Russia “to learn more about the brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombings.” He also connected the Congress members to the appropriate Russian officials and arranged the meeting. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said the group met top people due to Seagal’s influence.
In March 2014, Russian state newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta sought out Seagal to receive his expert opinion on everything Ukraine. He criticized America’s policy towards Ukraine, but praised Putin and the annexation of Crimea. He told the paper Putin is “one of the greatest living world leaders.”
“I consider him a friend and would like to consider him as a brother,” gushed Seagal. “I think he’s a very decent man, a man of words.” He went on to positively contrast him to other world leaders, and stated, “He is strong in the martial arts, knows perfectly the strategy and tactics, and not without reason Russia is playing an increasingly important role in the global political game, in the system of checks and balances. And the way it presents itself today – is very worthy.”