Meet the Russian Diplomat at the Center of the Trump Scandals

Esquire explores the questions: Who is Sergey Kislyak and what does he know?

May 12, 2017 10:13 am
Sergey Kislyak
Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States, arrives for a meeting with Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, and U.S. President Donald Trump (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Bloomberg via Getty Images

In the midst of several federal and congressional investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia, one man’s name keeps coming up again and again: Sergey Kislyak.

The “atypical” Russian Ambassador to the United States has been called the “least memorable man in the world,” Esquire notes, one so forgettable that everyone from Jeff Sessions to Jared Kushner can’t quite recall their meetings with him. But now that he’s being questioned about who he knows, what he’s said and what he’s done, Kislyak is not only puzzled by complaints about contacts within the Trump campaign. He has also publicly wondered aloud: “Did I commit anything wrong?”

President Trump and Sergey Kislyak
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, during talks with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not in picture) in the Oval Office at the White House. (Photo by Alexander ShcherbakTASS via Getty Images)

Regardless of pointed fingers and swirling suspicions, Kislyak’s post is coming to an end. And he appears to recognize that the mounting circumstantial evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election will leave U.S. and Russia relations in the same “dark, distrusting state” it was in when he arrived in the U.S, nearly four decades ago.

“I have a feeling sometimes that I’m getting younger, because I lived through all of this in the ’80s,” he said recently. “I would try to sum it up as significant disappointment for me as a person who was supposed to help to build relations.”

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