Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the ongoing investigations into the possibility that President Donald Trump’s campaign “colluded” with the Russians.
“That’s been invented by those that are in the opposition, people who oppose President Trump to delegitimize his time in office,” Putin replied to ABC News reporter Terry Moran during a press conference via a translator. “And it really seems strange to me because it seems that they don’t understand, they undermine their own nation.”
Putin said that he had respect for the Democrats opposition, but that they risked alienating Trump supporters.
“It limits the powers of the president who has been elected,” he said. “It means that they don’t have respect for those Americans who elected Donald Trump.”
Putin said that meetings with campaigns around the world was a normal practice for the Russians to talk about shared interests.
“Why do you have this spy hysteria, Russia meddling hysteria?” he asked.
When asked to assess Trump’s first year as president of the United States, Putin said it was not up to him, it was up to the American people. But he did comment briefly on the success of the stock markets.
“There’s been some major achievements in this short amount of time … look at the markets, the markets are up pretty strongly,” Putin said. “That means that investors trust the American economy, that means they have a lot of confidence in it.”