Vladimir Putin: Claims Russia has damaging information on Donald Trump 'nonsense'
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 20:09
United States needs to stop interfering in other countries' internal affairs and blame Russia for that, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview, which the NBC aired on Sunday. He said, as quoted by NBC, "Put your finger anywhere on a map of the world, and everywhere you will hear complaints that American officials are interfering in internal electoral processes".
Former FBI director James Comey, who was sacked by Mr Trump fired after allegedly asking him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his Russian contacts, is scheduled to give evidence on Thursday before the Senate's intelligence committee.
Putin ridiculed the allegations of Russian meddling in USA elections, accusing the Democrats of trying to shift blame for their defeat.
Putin repeatedly rejected claims that Russian hackers had acted to help Trump win the election ― an assertion that has been substantiated by multiple USA intelligence agencies.
During the interview, Kelly touched on the intelligence community's findings that Russian Federation was behind an elaborate campaign, which included hacking and the dissemination of fake news, created to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump win the presidency.
When asked if President Trump's son-in-law and White House adviser Kushner discussed setting up a special communications channel with Russian officials, President Putin told Megyn Kelly in an interview on "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" that "There is nothing to even talk about. Megyn's like, 'We're going to get dinner - a nice big steak!' I said, 'Megyn, you don't like me, stop acting like it.' And she said, 'I do'".
Mr Putin also told NBC that regardless of Mr Trump's previous travel to Russian Federation as a businessman, he had had no relationship with him and had never met him. "But, you know, I never met him". And then afterwards I was told, "You know there was an American gentleman". He suggested Americans should stop moralizing, saying "Why do you feel you have the right to ask us these kinds of questions?" "You people are so creative over there, good job".
He accused the USA media of sensationalizing information and using it as a "weapon of war" against Trump. During the course of their conversation, Kelly covered the current US justice department's investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 USA presidential election.
Putin's comments come days before former FBI Director James Comey is due to testify before Congress. Putin asked, per NBC News.
Last week, CNN reported that Russian officials discussed having potentially "derogatory" financial information about Trump and his aides in conversations intercepted by U.S. intelligence officials.
Interviewer Megyn Kelly pressed Mr Putin on whether he has any dossier or embarrassing dirt on the United States president that could be used to blackmail him.
"That sums up my entire acquaintance with Mr. Flynn", he concluded. Putin noted that executives from perhaps 100 American companies were now in Russian Federation. "Are you all - have you all lost your senses over there?"
The interview was taped on Friday in St. Petersburg, shortly after she moderated a St. Petersburg International Economic Forum panel in which Putin displayed his trademark combativeness.
An oft-published photo of him sitting next to Mr Putin at a gala dinner seems to hint he had close relations. "No such proposal ever reached me", the president said.
"They might have read a certain article and if they are in the patriotic mood, then they start making their contributions the way they see it positive towards the Russian image", Putin said, according to an Associated Press translation.
Despite saying there had been no reports, Putin volunteered that "there was not even a specific discussion of sanctions or something else".