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Putin Interview: Did Russia Interfere in the US Election?

05 June 2017

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a presentation of the final stage of the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, November 28, 2013.

"They can be in Russia, in Asia. even in America, Latin America", Mr Putin told NBC News, which previewed an interview between the Russian leader and reporter Megyn Kelly that will be broadcast in full on Sunday.

Among Putin's denials that the Russians had interfered in the US election, he had just offered up a moral logic for Russia - interfering in USA elections. Why, did we have some special relationship with him? Trump's most ardent critics are already talking about impeachment.

In an interview with NBC News' Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, a preview of which was released to media, Putin said hackers in the United States could have made it look like Russian Federation was behind the hack for political reasons.

The interview, which took place at the International Economic Forum in Russia on Friday, comes at a time when Putin and the Russian government have been at the forefront of American politics.

"I'm being honest. Do you think that from all over the world and the United States, the ambassador reports to me every day who he eats with or meets with", Putin said.

The Washington Post has reported that in a NY meeting in December with the Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergei Kislyak, the 36-year-old Kushner suggested setting up a back channel of communications with Moscow. "When I saw that my jaw dropped", Putin said in an interview with NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly. "No such proposal ever reached me".

"This is just another load of nonsense". "For me, this is just fantastic". And proceeded to turn that sensation into a tool for fighting the sitting president.

"You people are so creative over there", he quipped. "Your lives must be so boring", if Americans are reduced to making up stories about Russian Federation, he said.

It's become a centerpiece of the questions swirling around Trump and his campaign and possible ties to Russian Federation.

Comey probably will be asked about conversations he had with Trump concerning Russian election meddling and the FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets supporters in Moscow, December 1, 2011.

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The president fired Flynn in February for his failure to disclose contacts with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, and for lying to Vice President Mike Pence.

NBC News has reported that Flynn is considered a formal "subject" of the Russian Federation probe, which includes a deep look at his business interests, though no evidence has surfaced into the current public sphere that links him to the election meddling effort and his lawyers say he did nothing wrong. Where would we get this information from?

Then, this one: "Have you all lost your senses over there?"

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

"I made my speech. If Mr Flynn and I had this kind of interaction, while you and I, we have spent an entire day together, and Mr Flynn was sacked from his job, you then should be arrested and put in jail", the president joked. And I got up and left.

"I will tell you something you already know", he prefaced one answer. "He used to be in the security services".

"Does Mr. Comey agree that that is what was said?"

In his May 9 letter firing Comey, Trump said the former FBI director had informed him "on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation".

Putin claimed the picture pretty much demonstrates "the extent of [his] acquaintance with Mr. Flynn".

Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak is doing his job in the United States, he had no "sessions" with the U.S. officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Trump has strongly defended Flynn, saying his former aide was the victim of a witch hunt.

Flynn is now the focus of two congressional investigations and an FBI probe into the Trump campaign's potential ties to Russian Federation, as well as any efforts to collude with the Kremlin and hand Donald Trump the presidency during the 2016 election.