Every year, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts a Q&A on a state TV special program called "Direct Line." The questions given to Putin during this program are usually pretty simple, with one person even asking what the largest fish he ever caught was. This year in particular, most of the questions focused on the economy, wages, and inflation, with the show's call center receiving 2 million messages, as well as 1.3 million phone calls.

However, when asked what the difference was between James Comey and Edward Snowden, Putin had a fairly interesting answer.

After mentioning how they were more alike than some people might think, he also added that he would give the former FBI director political asylum should he be prosecuted by the U.S. government.

Putin’s answer

During Comey’s recent testimony, he recalled how Donald Trump had fired him after asking him to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, and his ties to Russian officials. Comey had also apparently written notes about their conversation, which he subsequently leaked to the media.

Because of this action, Putin remarked that Comey resembles a civil activist promoting a particular belief more than a security service director, much like former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

He went on to mention that if Comey were to face any sort of prosecution under such pretense, that he would be willing to arrange for political asylum.

What does this mean for Comey?

As of now, despite Putin’s generous offer, Comey doesn’t seem as though he’ll be in need of political asylum.

There is no indication whatsoever that Comey will be facing any sort of prosecution from the U.S. government or any associated agency anytime in the near future.

It should also be noted that it’s not entirely impossible that Comey could run into trouble eventually, especially if the Russian investigation -- as well as the 2018 midterm elections -- pan out in Trump’s favor.

But what Putin’s offer really seems to indicate is his need to try to distance himself from any sort of connection with Trump and his presidential campaign.

While it’s questionable if Putin would actually follow through with such an action, there’s no doubt that it’s within his best interest to give that type of answer to such a question. Whether or not it’s true that Putin and his government played any sort of role in tampering with the 2016 presidential election, it would not be wise of him to do or say anything to give any sort of legitimacy to the investigation.