Putin compares USA election meddling claims to anti-Semitism

Putin was responding to a question about possible Russian meddling in upcoming federal elections in Germany, after USA officials accused the Kremlin of interfering in the 2016 presidential vote to help Donald Trump win.

Facing questions from NBC's Megyn Kelly, who moderated Friday's panel discussion at St. Petersburg's economic forum, Putin said the claims of Russian interference in the US election contained "nothing concrete, only assumptions".

Megyn Kelly was pressing Putin to explain why he earlier said that perhaps "patriotic" hackers in Russian Federation committed the cyber-attack. They can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States, who very skilfully and professionally, shifted the blame, as we say, on to Russian Federation. In the midst of a political battle. "Could you imagine something like that?" he asked rhetorically, adding, "I can" so as to point her in the right direction.

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked by President Trump earlier this month, is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week about possible undue influence that was exerted concerning the ongoing federal investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. "I can", Putin said. "He visited Moscow and during a discussion I said, 'So, what if [we] consider an option of Russian Federation maybe joining NATO, '" Putin said in one of his conversations with Stone.

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Her new series, Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly, premieres June 4 on NBC.

While addressing the forum Friday, Putin also said the hacking accusations against his country were nothing more than "harmful gossip", and that it was damaging worldwide relations and the global economy, reports said.

"What fingerprints?" Putin said sarcastically.

'Even in these reports there is nothing specific but only assumptions and conclusions based on assumptions'.

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He said he had personally reviewed the United States intelligence reports which made the hacking allegations against Russian Federation, and that they contained no meaningful evidence.

He alleged that some evidence pointing at Russian hackers' participation in cyberattacks - he didn't specify which - could have been falsified in an attempt to smear Russia. IP addresses can be faked. They can fake anything and then accuse anyone.

On Thursday, Putin claimed that the Kremlin did not order the hacking campaign, but that "patriotically minded" Russian citizens may have taken it upon themselves to target "those who say bad things about Russia".

"Help us to set up a normal political dialogues", Putin said.

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