Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder on Tuesday called Russia an enemy of the United States and explained how it could inflict more harm on America than ISIS.
“ISIS is a bunch of ragtag terrorists whereas Russia is a kleptocracy, a mafia state with nuclear weapons. They [Russia] could annihilate the United States of America and they very well may if we play our cards badly with these people,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman in an exclusive interview.
Browder added that Russian President Vladimir Putin used the country’s primary security agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), to meddle in the U.S. presidential election.
“It’s pretty clear that Vladimir Putin ordered it. This is what he [Putin] does, we shouldn’t feel too special. He does it to everybody. He did it to France, he did it to the Netherlands and he did it to Germany—even the little country of Malta is being messed around with electoral Russian meddling.”
Browder, who ran one of the largest foreign investment fund in Russian companies from 1996-2006, said he became a threat to Russia after discovering “huge massive stealing” in the oil and gas companies he invested.
“I decided that I was going to try to research how they did the stealing and then expose it through the international media and for a while this was an extremely profitable investment strategy, but as you can imagine, the guys who were doing the stealing weren’t so happy about me exposing their ill-gotten gains,” he said.
As a result, Browder said he was inexplicably arrested, blacklisted by the Russian government as a threat to national security and expelled from the country in 2005.
According to Browder, his Russian tax lawyer and partner, Sergei Magnitsky, who remained in the country, challenged the Russian government over massive tax fraud and later died in prison in 2009.
“Vladimir Putin and his regime tortured and murdered my lawyer for discovering $230 million that was stolen. It wasn’t stolen from me. These were taxes that we paid that were stolen from the Russian government. He exposed it and then he was tortured for 358 days and killed,” he said.