Putin de­nies in­ter­fer­ing in US elec­tion

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

RUS­SIAN Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin testily re­jected the idea that his gov­ern­ment had in­ter­fered in the 2016 US elec­tion – or that he is hold­ing com­pro­mis­ing ev­i­dence against US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump – in an in­ter­view broad­cast Sun­day on night with NBC’s Megyn Kelly.

“They have been mis­led,” Putin re­sponded when Kelly said that Amer­i­can in­tel­li­gence agen­cies had con­cluded that Rus­sia in­ter­fered in the cam­paign with the goal of elect­ing Trump. “They aren’t analysing the in­for­ma­tion in its en­tirety. I haven’t seen any di­rect proof of Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.”

The in­ter­view with Putin – con­ducted last week dur­ing an eco­nomic fo­rum in St. Peters­burg – was tense at times, with the Rus­sian call­ing Kelly’s ques­tions a “load of non­sense”.

“Your lives must be so bor­ing,” if Amer­i­cans are re­duced to mak­ing up sto­ries about Rus­sia, he said.

Kelly asked about an episode in which Jared Kush­ner – the pres­i­dent’s son-in-law and se­nior ad­viser – sug­gested set­ting up a se­cret back-chan­nel with the Krem­lin be­fore Trump took of­fice.

“I don’t know about this pro­posal,” Putin said. He added that said such a re­quest would have been re­ported to him. “You cre­ated a sen­sa­tion out of noth­ing, you turned it into a weapon of war against the pres­i­dent.” Wash­ing­ton Post

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