Putin ridicules US focus on ambassador contacts

"It's easy to say 'we are not guilty, it's the Russians who are guilty - they interfered in our elections, but we are good", Putin said.

In March, when asked directly whether Russian Federation interfered in the United States election, Putin told reporters, "Read my lips: No".

During a press conference in Saint Petersberg on Thursday, Putin said it was "theoretically possible" that "patriotic" individuals might have made "what they see as a fair contribution to the struggle against those who speak ill of Russian Federation", according to a RadioFreeEurope translation. They have concluded Putin's government is behind the election hacking and disinformation campaign.

Likening hackers to free-spirited artists acting according to their moods, he said cyber attacks could be made to look like they had come from Russian Federation when they had not. "No information can be imprinted in voters' minds, in the minds of a nation, and influence the final outcome and the final result".

The Russian president also said that "no hackers can influence any election campaign and that hackers can come "from any country in the world".

"This is ridiculous", Putin was reported to have said.

"The problem isn't us, the problem is inside USA politics", he said.

After Mueller's appointment, Trump said in a statement: "As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity".

Putin's comment about a child being just as capable of carrying out hacks as a "specialist" echoes what Trump himself said about cyberattacks during the first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton.

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Putin also criticized what he said was "Russophobia" among countries seeking to isolate Russian Federation - a clear reference to USA and European Union sanctions targeting Moscow over its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and backing of armed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

President Putin recalled that Russian Federation and the United States are influential world powers and asserted that the two sides maintain a dialog within the framework of different formats in the Group of 20 in the APEC and other organizations and interact on key global and regional issues.

Russian Federation remains under USA and European Union sanctions because of its involvement in the Ukraine conflict and annexation of Crimea. Even a 3-year-old can invent.

"I ask you on behalf of Russian Federation, and I appeal to the American side: Help the newly elected president, the head of the United States administration", he said. "We are thinking about ways to neutralize possible threats at long distance".

  • Leroy Wright