Putin praises Trump, crit­i­cizes Democrats, de­nies Moscow role

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By REUTERS in Moscow

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin praised US pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump on Fri­day, say­ing Trump had his fin­ger on the pulse of US so­ci­ety, and he launched a scathing at­tack on the Democrats, say­ing they had for­got­ten the mean­ing of their own name and were sore losers.

Speak­ing at his an­nual news con­fer­ence in Moscow, Putin said that only Rus­sia had be­lieved that Trump would be­come the next pres­i­dent of the United States, but that did not mean the Democrats had the right to blame him for their de­feat.

“The cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion and the lead­er­ship of the Demo­cratic Party are try­ing to blame all their fail­ures on ex­ter­nal fac­tors,” Putin told re­porters.

“(We are talk­ing about) a party that has clearly for­got­ten the orig­i­nal mean­ing of its own name,” Putin said, ac­cus­ing the Democrats of “shame­lessly” abus­ing their sta­tus as the rul­ing party to try to in­flu­ence public opin­ion.

“Out­stand­ing fig­ures in US his­tory from the ranks of the Demo­cratic Party would likely be turn­ing in their graves. Roo­sevelt cer­tainly would be,” he said.

The White House and US in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials have ac­cused Rus­sia of try­ing to in­ter­fere with the US elec­tion by hack­ing Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee ac­counts. In­for­ma­tion from those hacks was leaked on­line, caus­ing po­lit­i­cal prob­lems for Demo­cratic can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Putin dis­missed sug­ges­tions that Moscow had in any way helped Trump to win.

“It’s not like that,” he said. “All of this (the ac­cu­sa­tions) speaks of the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion’s sys­temic prob­lems.”

The ques­tion of who hacked the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee was not im­por­tant, but what the hacks re­vealed — that public opin­ion in the United States was be­ing ma­nip­u­lated — was, said Putin.

“They (the Democrats) are los­ing on all fronts and look­ing else­where for things to blame.”


Jour­nal­ists lis­ten to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin dur­ing his an­nual end-of-the-year news con­fer­ence in Moscow on Fri­day.

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