Putin on USA election interference: 'I couldn't care less'

Saul Bowman
March 11, 2018

But U.S. intelligence concluded Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election with aims to help Trump, while special counsel Robert Mueller investigates the possibility of collusion between Russian Federation and the president's campaign.

"Why have you decided the Russian authorities, myself included, gave anybody permission to do this?" he asked Kelly. Putin said, according to an NBC translator, when asked about the Russian individuals and Russian-owned companies that were indicted last month by special counsel Robert Mueller. Maybe they're Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to be reelected for a fourth term in next weekend's ballot, has said he has no plans to change the constitution to stay in the Kremlin beyond 2024. Putin told NBC. "There are 146 million Russians". "I don't care. I couldn't care less. I couldn't care less.They do not represent the interests of the Russian state".

Putin was asked by NBC's Megyn Kelly if he ever reads USA leader Donald Trump's posts on Twitter. "And we'll take a look at it".

Putin told Kelly that Trump was "a businessman with vast experience" and "a quick study", though he's new to politics.

As evidence of Russian cyberactivity targeting the United States election emerged, Daniel and Celeste Wallander, the top Russia analyst on the National Security Council, pushed for the United States to strike back at Russia, and hard.


He claimed it was not Russia's "goal to interfere" and appeared incredulous at the charges, asking, "Could anyone really believe that Russian Federation, thousands of miles away.influenced the outcome of the election? Doesn't that sound ridiculous even to you?" he said. "I expect the Israeli government to come out strongly against these serious remarks made by the Russian president. There's no goal", Putin said.

A former senior Obama administration official involved in White House deliberations on Russian Federation has since said: "I feel like we sort of choked".

Instead, Putin said, the U.S. should sign a cybersecurity pact with Russian Federation if it wanted Moscow to look into the matter in earnest. "We do not see what goal we would accomplish by interfering".

Putin rejected allegations that Russian Federation sought to interfere in the election, despite the conclusion past year by USA intelligence agencies that he personally directed a campaign to do so in 2016.

Eventually, Obama finally went public with the information of Russian meddling on October 7, 2016.

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