"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert on Thursday opened his monologue talking about Vladimir Putin's personal vendetta against Hillary Clinton.
Sources told CNN that the former secretary of State — during a "thank you party" for her donors at The Plaza Hotel in New York on Thursday — "said Putin held a grudge against her stemming from Clinton's comments about Russia's 2011 parliamentary elections. Clinton issued a sharp critique of Russia's parliamentary elections as secretary of state, suggesting that the elections were not free and fair. Putin then blamed Clinton for protests that broke out afterward."
According to Clinton, this "grudge" led Putin to interfere in the U.S. election.
"Kinda flattering he wanted to do it himself, don't you think?" Colbert said. "It's hand-crafted — it's an artisanal hack."
"So Putin hacked the election because of a grudge against Hillary? That is so lame," he added. "There are so many better reasons to get revenge on America: economic sanctions, NATO expansion, Sean Connery's accent in 'The Hunt for Red October.'"
According to Politico, some of those reasons stem from U.S. interventionism:
As secretary of state, Clinton played into Putin’s long-held anxieties about the U.S. — all of which were echoes of the American policies launched during her husband’s presidency, and the boozy Bill-and-Boris show of the 1990s.
One was Putin’s belief that America blithely staged military interventions around the world with little regard for international — or at least Russian — opinion. Hillary Clinton had been a supporter of the 2003 Iraq War and Obama’s 2011 intervention in Libya. Putin opposed both those campaigns — and, as a paranoid autocrat, particularly resented Washington’s record of regime-change policies. It didn’t help that the Clinton name already reminded Russian officials of the 1990s U.S.-led NATO interventions in the Balkans, which many hardliners considered to be outrageous Western aggression against their Slavic brothers.