Hermitage Capital CEO Bill Browder fired back at Russian President Vladimir Putin, who claimed the financier’s associates dodged tax payments.
“My first reaction was, wow, I’ve really gotten underneath Vladimir Putin’s skin,” Browder said during an interview on FOX Business’ “Making Money with Charles Payne” on Monday.
Putin claims Browder’s associates never paid taxes on $1.5 billion and contributed $400 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia,” said Putin via an interpreter. “They never paid any taxes -- neither in Russia or the United States and yet the money escaped the country.”
Browder, who recently called Putin a “pipsqueak” on “Countdown to the Closing Bell,” said the Russian president has so much disdain toward the Magnitsky Act that it has propelled him to insert Browder as part of the conversation with the leader of the free world.
“This legislation to punish Putin cronies for the murder of my lawyer and other human rights violations has really upset Vladimir Putin,” he said.
Browder worked with Congress to enact the Magnitsky Act, preventing foreigners who violate human rights from entering the U.S. The legislation is named after Browder’s Russian accountant, Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Russian prison after exposing a tax fraud scheme.
With attempts to reset relations with Russia by former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Browder said appeasement simply doesn’t work with a criminal like Putin.
“Nothing works with this guy,” he said. “He just laughs at this stuff. He looks at it as total weakness.”