“We have been attacked,” Morgan Freeman stoically announces. “We are at war.”
The Oscar-winning actor has played the president of the United States in a time of crisis (in 2008’s “Deep Impact”), but this time he’s speaking as himself, as a citizen.
In a video from the activist news organization ATTN:, Freeman encourages Americans of every ideological stripe to look with clear eyes at Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Russian President Vladimir Putin, he argues, wasn’t just punking the U.S. He was trying to undermine the country’s government and values.
“Imagine this movie script,” Freeman says, and then calmly lays out Putin’s rise from KGB spy for a superpower to dictator of a bedraggled former superpower. So Putin, Freeman says, “angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge.”
His target: You and me. The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Putin instructed his hackers and disinformation experts to exploit Americans’ divisions to make them “distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, but Freeman doesn’t accuse the president of working with or even winking at the Russians. He does, however, call on Trump to finally acknowledge the seriousness of what Putin’s regime did and to direct “every resource available to conduct a thorough investigation to determine exactly how this happened.”
Will this video or other efforts by ATTN: and the non-partisan Committee to Investigate Russia bring Republicans and Democrats together on the issue of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election? That’s unlikely. But, as always, Freeman gives a powerful, memorable performance.
Watch the video below.