Nigel Farage abruptly ended an interview with a German journalist after being quizzed over his links to Russia.
The former UKIP leader had the reporter ushered out of his office after he asked questions about a meeting with a Russian minister and his visit to see Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in March.
He told the reporter, Steffen Dobbert from Zeit newspaper, that the meeting with the Wikileaks founder was for “journalistic” reasons.
After getting increasingly frustrated with Dobbert’s line of questioning, he asks the journalist to leave, claiming the reporter was a ‘nutcase’ and should host a “comedy show”.
Farage put a stop to the interview, which has just been translated to English for the first time, after the journalist refused to stick to questions on the UK economy.
Asked if his Brexit campaign received funding from Russia, Farage responded incredulously: “No Russian money at all. That’s ridiculous. What you are talking about is conspiracy.
“I never received a penny from Russia. I wouldn’t have taken it, even if it had been offered. The campaign wasn’t about money. It was about messages, good clear messages.”
However, he admitted to receiving money from Moscow’s state TV, Russia Today for work up to “three times last year”.
On Assange, who has just had rape charges against him dropped, Farage first said he “couldn’t remember” why he had met the Swede, then claimed it was for journalistic reasons.
Pressed further, Farage responded: “It has nothing to do with you. It was a private meeting.”
Asked about a meeting he had in 2013 with Russian Deputy foreign affairs minister Alexander Yakovenko, Farage initially denied it had taken place, but then admitted it had but added: “So what?”
He heavily denied he or any of his campaigns had any links to Russia, branding the reporter a “nutcase” and saying he should have a comedy show rather than reporting for a newspaper.
Farage’s press spokesman interrupted the interview on three occasions before finally advising his boss to cut it short. At the fourth intervention, the journalist was asked to leave Farage’s office.
Pressed on the issue of European borders, Farage’s press team intervened to say the interview is over:
“Farage’s press spokesman interrupts the parliamentarian for the fourth time,” reports Dobbert.
“It’s too much, he says and indicates to Farage that he should put an end to the discussion.
“Farage stands up from his leather armchair and sits down at his desk. That’s it, he says, and looks at the papers lying in front of him.
The interview is over and his press spokesman requests that the journalist leave the room.”