Putin: 'Patriotically Minded' Russian Hackers Might Have Interfered With the 2016 Election

Gwen Vasquez
June 2, 2017

"We once again confirmed joint plans to build at least 12 power units of Russian design in India, which will be a great contribution to the implementation of plans for the development of nuclear energy in the country", President Putin said.

He also absolved himself of blame, saying that if the attacks happened, they had nothing to do with him.

"If they (hackers) are patriotically-minded, they start to make their own contribution to what they believe is the good fight against those who speak badly about Russian Federation".

Putin said India will become a full-fledged member of the SCO in a week.

"Theoretically it is possible", he concluded.

Unsurprisingly, Putin rejected the accusations made against Russian Federation.

The Kremlin has denied that it interfered in the election and has described the claims against it as "Russo-phobic hysteria". The Obama administration in December expelled the Russians from the compounds, one in NY and the other in Maryland, as part of punishments put in place against the country for its attempts to influence the election.

Russia's relations with the West have been at post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis. He compared hackers to artists whose actions are driven by unstable and unpredictable moods.

"If they are patriotically minded, they start making their contributions - which are right, from their point of view - to the fight against those who say bad things about Russian Federation", said Putin.

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Prime Minister Modi told President Putin that "generally there are ups and downs in global relationships, but history is a witness that India and Russian Federation have not seen ups and down in their relations".

This is not the first time that Putin has seemingly borrowed language from Trump to deny his government's attack on American democracy.

Without naming any particular country, Putin said that Russian Federation has faced attempts to hurt its legitimate interests. "Modern technologies allow doing this, this is done quite easily", said Putin. A declassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released in January said USA intelligence had concluded the campaign was ordered directly by Putin and was meant to tip the election in favor of Trump by harming Clinton.

Speaking at Thursday's meeting with senior editors of leading worldwide news agencies, Putin said the current atmosphere "makes it somewhat inconvenient to work with one another or even to talk, but some day this will have to stop".

"We are patient, we know how to wait and we will wait", Mr Putin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed President Donald Trump as a straightforward person with a fresh vision.

"No information can have a direct impact on people's mind ... nor on final results of the elections", Putin said, adding, "It is my conviction once again that no hackers will be able to have an impact on the electoral campaign in any country ... whether it's America or Asia".

U.S. intelligence agencies have accused Russian Federation of hacking into and leaking Democratic Party emails, helping Mr Trump to victory in last year's presidential election.

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