Russian president ‚couldn’t care less‘ if his citizens involved in efforts to influence 2016 vote, says actions cannot be tied to Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the NBC network over the weekend that Russians who sought to influence the results of the 2016 presidential elections could have been “Jews, but with Russian citizenship.”
In the interview, a full transcript of which was released by the Kremlin on Saturday, the Russia president said “I do not care at all, because they do not represent the government.
“Maybe they are not even Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars or Jews, but with Russian citizenship, which should also be checked; maybe they have dual citizenship or a green card; maybe the US paid them for this. How can you know that? I do not know either,” he said.
Putin insisted such efforts could not be tied to the Kremlin.
“Why have you decided the Russian authorities, myself included, gave anybody permission to do this?” Putin asked in the often-combative interview.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is conducting a wide-ranging investigation to determine whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow to help elect him.