Speaking today to a BBC program investigating “Putin’s secret riches,” US undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism Adam Szubin accused Russian President Putin of being the “picture of corruption,” and using his position to enrich friends and allies using state assets.
Szubin claimed the US has “known about this for many, many years,” saying that Putin’s official salary of $110,000 per year is “not an accurate statement of the man’s wealth,” citing a decade-old CIA report claiming he was worth some $40 billion.
Putin’s official list of assets, according to the Kremlin’s website, makes his declared earnings one of the lowest among top Russian officials, claiming only his salary, three Russian-made cars, and a small apartment.
It is unclear if Szubin’s comments represented an official statement from the US government of not. If so, it represents a shift in America’s anti-Russia talking points, away from Putin as a would-be conqueror of Europe to Putin as a rich man.