Just a day after saying that "patriotic" Russian hackers might have meddled with the 2016 USA presidential election, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly, suggested that those hackers could have come from "anywhere".
"You and I, you and I personally", Putin told Kelly, according to a partial transcript released by the network.
"I'm being honest. Do you think that from all over the world and the United States, the ambassador reports to me every day who he eats with or meets with", said Putin. "Each action invites appropriate counteraction, but, again, we don't need to do that".
Putin said he had talked about the allegations with former President Barack Obama and with several other officials, adding: "No one ever showed me any direct evidence". And then afterwards I was told, 'You know there was an American gentleman, he was involved in some things. "He used to be in the security services.'" "That's it", Putin said, speaking through a translator. I didn't even really talk to him... "That's the extent of my acquaintance with Mr. Flynn".
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Vladimir Putin has had what's being described by NBC as "a fascinating conversation" with the network's new host, Megyn Kelly, in which they discussed "a range of subjects, from sanctions to Syria", as well as Moscow's alleged meddling in USA politics.
In a trailer for an interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly released Sunday, the Russian premier says that he sat next to Flynn at a dinner in late 2015, but only made polite small talk.
The Washington Post has reported that in a NY meeting in December with the Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergei Kislyak, the 36 year old Kushner suggested setting up a back channel of communications with Moscow.
"I hadn't said anything".
The FBI is now conducting an investigation, led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, into Russian attempts to interfere in the last USA presidential election, including whether there could have been any connection to associates of the Trump campaign.