Russian President Vladimir Putin turned the tables on asserts the Kremlin meddled in the U.S. general elections, with a feisty Putin on Friday accusing American spies of crude and systematic widespread interference in Russian affairs.
Putin, speaking at an economic forum in St. Petersburg moderated by NBCs Megyn Kelly, said the probe into Russias alleged attempts to influence the election via collusion with President Trumps campaign team was merely hysteria, Reuters reported. He even tried to pacifies an inquisitive Kelly by asking: Isnt there a pill they can give you?
He also compared the anti-Russian sentiment in the U.S. to anti-Semitism.
Its like saying everything is the Jews fault, said Putin, who placed the held accountable for Hillary Clintons November loss squarely at the feet of the Democratic presidential nominee and members of her party.
Putin deftly brushed off questions about meetings that members of the Trump campaign including then-Sen. Jeff Sessions had with Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak.
So our diplomat met person. That's his job. That's why we pay him, Putin said, according to a translation. So what? What's he supposed to do, hit up the bars?
He described the focus on Kislyak's contacts as catastrophic nonsense.
Earlier this week, Putin denied the Russian nation had directed any hacking operations designed to influence the U.S. election though he did say Russian patriots could have been behind the plot on their own accord. Friday, Putin went a step further, saying the U.S. asserts contained nothing cement, only assumptions. He added that IP addresses allegedly are subordinate to Russian hackers easily could have been rigged and couldn't stand as evidence.
A 3-year-old can perpetrate such an attack, Putin said.
Also, while many world leaders have condemned Trumps decision on Thursday to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Putin said he wouldnt blame Trump for leaving the accord, though he hoped the Oval Office occupant would define new climate change rules.
Joking about the effects of climate change, Putin said American imperialism was the reason for Russias summertime weather.
The former KGB officer also took aim at a favorite Russian target, NATO, wants to know why the alliance required such robust defense spending.
What part of their body are they thinking with? he asked rhetorically.
Though Putin also said he hoped U.S. sanctions eventually would be lifted against his country, he boasted that criminal penalties had an unintended positive effect.
We had to use our brains, Putin said. Not will vary depending on oil and gas dollars.
The Associated Press contributed to this report .
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