U.S. Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Voice Of America on February 1 that the Russian people "are beginning to realize they have a leader that amassed tremendous personal wealth."
Corker said that revelation was "going to create some additional instability in Russia."
Szubin told the BBC that Putin was "a picture of corruption," and the White House later said that his remarks reflected the views of the Obama administration about Putin.
The Kremlin reacted angrily to the interview and Earnest’s statement, calling it "outrageous and insulting."
Szubin declined to comment on a 2007 CIA report estimating Putin's wealth at $40 billion.
Putin's younger daughter, according to Reuters, also has identified herself as a "spouse" of Kirill Shamalov, the son of wealthy Putin associate Nikolai Shamalov.
The couple is thought to have corporate holdings worth about $2 billion.
Peggy Noonan, on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, as to whether Fidel Castro used incriminating phone-sex recordings to blackmail President Bill Clinton into returning miracle dolphin lad Elian Gonzalez to his father in Cuba.
Donald Rumsfeld, on why we shouldn’t worry that UN inspectors found no WMD in Iraq pre-invasion.