Putin insists reports of Russian election meddling are 'lies'

Putin was asked on a CNBC-moderated panel discussion to confirm that he and his regime "never tried to influence the outcome of the USA presidential election, and there will be no evidence found?"

Putin was asked directly by reporters whether had any knowledge of interference in the election, to which he responded: "Read my lips: No".

A top spokesman for Russian President Putin said Friday that the U.S.'s relationship with Moscow may be worse than during the Cold War.

"Everything else is lies, inventions and provocations" used by "some political forces in the US.to strengthen their position", said Putin.

"I don't think it's in the interests of the majority of the American people to bring the US-Russian relations to absurdity for the sake of domestic politics", he said. The United States diplomats are allowed to interact freely with representatives of major Russian organizations and government, Putin said, but the Russian ambassadors are given no such leeway.

Russian President and outdoorsman Vladimir Putin is off on another adventure, visiting the cave of Arctic Pilots Glacier on the Russian island of Alexandra Land. "People who behave themselves so recklessly, what are they leading us to?"

Obama also announced the shutdown of two massive Russian recreational compounds in Maryland and NY, which US officials said were used for intelligence purposes.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny - who has announced plans to run for president next year - called for Russians to take to the streets after he published a report accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of controlling a property empire through a murky network of non-profit organisations.

Peskov was referring to the Obama administration's December 2016 sanctions against Russian Federation after intelligence agencies said the country tried to influence the 2016 election.

On Wednesday, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the Republican chairman of the Senate committee, said one witness would be Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Putin's comments are the President's most emphatic denial of the accusations yet, and are the first he has directly made since US President Donald Trump took office in January.

He added that he was ready to work with the new USA presidential administration on fighting Islamic State in Syria.

Earlier this year, Mr Putin thanked Slovenia for its offer to host a proposed meeting with Mr Trump, but noted that it would depend on Washington.

  • Leroy Wright