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Putin angrily denies election hacking in Megyn Kelly interview

06 June 2017

USA needs to stop interfering in other countries' internal affairs and to change its own electoral legislation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with US journalist Megyn Kelly, which the NBC aired on Sunday.

"You and I, you and I personally", Putin told Kelly, according to a partial transcript released by the network.

USA intelligence agencies concluded in January that Moscow tried to tilt the election campaign inTrump's favour, including by hacking into the emails of senior Democrats, a charge the Kremlin denies.

Several senior US intelligence officers have said publicly that Russian spy agencies are responsible for interfering in last year's election, putting them at odds with President Donald Trump.

"Well, this is just another load of nonsense", Mr Putin said.

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Russian Federation is ready to listen to comments that are constructive with the goal of establishing a relationship "but we will absolutely not accept when these sorts of things are used as an instrument of political conflict", he said.

The contacts Flynn and other Trump aides had with Russian officials and bankers are drawing intense scrutiny, particularly after United States intelligence agencies concluded that Russian hackers meddled in the American election.

He also claimed he had limited personal interaction with former USA national security advisor Michael Flynn. "Why else would they want him there?"There were no meetings", Putin said".

"I'm being completely honest with you", Putin said. And then afterwards I was told, "You know there was an American gentleman, he was involved in some things".

On Thursday, Putin raised the possibility that "patriotic" Russian hackers may have acted on their own to influence the USA presidential race.

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French President Emmanuel Macron, standing next to Putin in Paris last week, publicly denounced Russia Today and the state-funded Sputnik news agency as "agents of influence. and of lying propaganda" that had spread "fake news" against him during his campaign for Paris's top post in May. Putin, a former KGB spy, said.

"It's just that French journalists asked me about those hackers". Where would we get this information from?

"I don't know about this proposal". "Your lives must be boring".

Putin's response to this question was predictable and ended with him nearly scolding Kelly for even asking it in the first place.

Trump has called an FBI investigation into alleged ties between his campaign and Russian Federation a "witch hunt" created to undermine the legitimacy of his 2016 election win. Putin said. "We didn't have any relationship at all. That's the extent of my acquaintance with Mr. Flynn", he said. He suggested Americans should stop moralizing, saying "Why do you feel you have the right to ask us these kinds of questions?" "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". "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction", he said.

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