Vladimir Putin has doubled-down in his objection to the idea of Russia hacking and influencing the 2016 US Presidential election.
It’s possible, the Russian president said, that the hackers were actually American, and Russia has been framed.
“Hackers can be anywhere. They can be in Russia, in Asia… even in America, Latin America,” Putin said during NBC’s “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” which premieres this weekend. “They can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States, who very skillfully and professionally, shifted the blame, as we say, on to Russia. Can you imagine something like that? In the midst of a political battle. By some calculations it was convenient for them to release this information, so they released it, citing Russia. Could you imagine something like that? I can.”
The new quotes come a day after Putin gave similar public remarks denying Russian meddling in the presidential election.
“We never engaged in that on a state level, and have no intention of doing so,” Putin said Thursday at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Putin said that evidence pointing at Russian hackers’ participation in attacks is, essentially, fake news to make Russia look bad.
“I can imagine that some do it deliberately, staging a chain of attacks in such a way as to cast Russia as the origin of such an attack,” Putin said. “Modern technologies allow that to be done quite easily.”
There is an ongoing investigation to determine whether or not Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but Putin doesn’t buy it.
“I’m deeply convinced that no hackers can radically influence another country’s election campaign,” he said. “No hackers can influence election campaigns in any country of Europe, Asia or America.”
Kelly’s interview with Putin airs Sunday at 7 p.m. ET during the premiere of “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” on NBC.