Ben Carson on Putin's Deep Ties with Islamic Leaders
Russian leader Vladimir Putin has been tied to controversial Mideast Muslim leaders since the time they attended school in Moscow, according to Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson.
Carson raised the little known historical fact during his guest appearance on CBN's The 700 Club Friday.
Carson said Putin shares a deep historical tie with Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, suggesting he became acquainted with them during their college days in Moscow when Putin was a young KGB operative.
"He has longstanding relationships down there. Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, were both classmates in the class of 1968 at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow where they became aquainted with a young Vladimir Putin. So these are deep ties," Carson said.
While Abbas' tenure as a Patrice Lumumba graduate student is well documented, Khamenei's school ties are not.
In a follow-up interview, Dr. Carson would not disclose his sources, but told CBN News he learned about the ties between the three leaders from advisors across the government, including the CIA.
He said the connection helps to explain what's currently happening around the world.
"That's what I call wisdom," Carson said. "You get these pieces of information. You talk to various people. You begin to have an overall picture. You begin to understand why people do what they do."
"And why it's so important for Putin to establish influence in that area now because you see what his economic situation is, and he sees that as the quickest way to improve his economic situation," he continued.
Carson added, "There's a lot more information that I've gotten that's probably not appropriate for revelation."
The GOP candidate's original on-air statement was made while offering analysis about Putin's game plan in Syria.
"Putin has expansionist ideas. The only thing that's stopping him right now is money," Carson said. "The price of oil has dropped tremendously which has hampered him severely. Now he's looking to extend his influence throughout the Middle East."
"I personally believe that he would very much like to get control of a lot of the energy resources in that area so that he can control pricing and bring himself back up where he wants to be," he added.
Carson contends that Putin's long ties with Abbas and Khamenei are key to understanding what the Russian leader is doing now in Syria. He said the United States needs to take a stand against Putin now.
"And you can see that Iran is supporting the Assad regime along with Putin and it has nothing to do with what Russia said they were coming in there to do, to fight ISIS," Carson said during his 700 Club appearence.
"Instead, who are they fighting? Al Nusra. Al Jalani. You know they obviously have a very different agenda here and we need to oppose them," Carson said.