During an interview broadcast on Monday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Vladimir Putin denied that Russia, as a state, has interfered in US internal affairs and argued that the DNC should apologize instead of looking for who was responsible for the DNC hacking and that the hacking wasn’t forging facts.
Putin began by saying, “Russia, as a state, has never interfered with the internal affairs of the United States, let alone its elections.”
He added, “Do you really believe that someone acting from the Russian territory could have influenced the United States and influenced the choice of millions of Americans?”
Putin then said, “I said this in 2016, and I say it now, the idea was about hacking an email account of a Democratic candidate. Was it some rigging of facts? Was it some forgery of facts? … No, it wasn’t.”
He continued that the Democratic Party’s leadership “admitted the fact of their manipulation. So, that’s one thing, that manipulations of the public opinion should stop, and an apology should be made to the public at large instead of looking for the responsible — the party at fault.”
Interviewer Chris Wallace then pushed back, “[Y]ou’re indicating that they stole real money, not counterfeit money. So, are you saying it’s okay because of the facts that they took from the DNC, from John Podesta, it was their real emails, so it’s okay to hack and spread this information out and interfere with the election?”
Putin responded, “The information that I am aware of, there’s nothing false about it. Every single grain of it is true. And the Democratic leadership admitted it. … And now, for the specific accusations. First of all, Special Counsel Mueller has accused a certain private company in Russia, that is not even a very big enterprise, it’s core area of competence is a restaurant business. And now, this company hired American lawyers, and [is] defending its integrity and reputation in an American court. So far, [the] American court has not discovered any trace of interference whatsoever. … And now, to the individuals from the indictment act. We — with the United States, we have a treaty for assistance in criminal cases, an existing treaty that exists from 1999. It’s still enforced and [it] works efficiently. Today, I referred [to] an example of its efficient specific work. … Why wouldn’t Special Counsel Mueller send us an official request within the framework of this agreement?”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett