Did Russia Interfere in the US Election — Putin Interview

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".

"You and I, you and I personally, have a much closer relationship than I had with Mr. Flynn", Putin told Kelly in Russian, translated to English. Do you think, an ambassador from any place in the world or from the United States reports to me daily as to whom he meets with and what they discuss? "Have you all lost your sense over there?" US intelligence agencies reported in January that Putin oversaw a campaign of computer hacking, fake news and propaganda meant to swing the election to the Republican candidate Trump over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.Putin has denied conducting such a campaign. Putin has denied the findings, and Trump has also questioned the validity of the intelligence community's conclusions.

"Well, this is just another load of nonsense", Putin said. "And we can only get that by talking to those directly involved". Did we have a special relationship with him?

This charge - and even more damning suggestions that the Trump administration actually colluded in such an effort - are at the core of a high stakes probe by a USA special counsel and congressional committees.

Putin again denied any Russian involvement in the US presidential election and any knowledge of Russian contacts with the Trump campaign.

In the interview, Putin also said he had only a brief and passing acquaintance with former United States national security adviser Michael Flynn, though the two sat next to each other at a dinner in Moscow in 2015. Gesticulating at the wheel of a Mercedes with an interpreter sitting behind, Putin stresses Snowden is "not a traitor" and "did not give any information to another country that would have caused harm to his people".

"If it had been important, the minister would have reported it to me".

"This is a transferral, I repeat, of internal political squabbling in the United States onto the worldwide arena", he said. "There weren't even any reports". There wasn't a discussion about sanctions or anything else. "For me, this is just wonderful". You create a sensation out of nothing and out of this sensation, you turn it into a weapon of war against the current president.

"There can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States, who very skilfully and professionally, shifted the blame, as we say, onto Russian Federation".

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He also argued that the U.S.

"Put your finger anywhere on a map of the world, and everywhere you will hear complaints that American officials are interfering in internal electoral processes", Putin told Kelly. When Kelly asked him about allegations of Russian involvement in the campaign, he replied with a conspiracy theory about the death of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

"This useless and harmful chatter needs to stop", the Kremlin strongman said. That committee is expected to listen to Comey's testimony about the investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling previous year and Comey's private conversations with the president.

As the Trump-Russia controversy continued gaining steam in March and Flynn began emerging as a central focus, his lawyer, Robert Kelner, asked for immunity for Flynn in exchange for his testimony on Russian election interference.

Lawmakers from both parties urged Trump not to stand in the way of Comey's testimony. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee.

Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the intelligence committee, said Comey's testimony would be critical to address mounting questions about possible obstruction of justice.

Flynn's resignation came days after the Post's report was published, but it was later revealed that the White House had already been aware of Flynn's actions - former acting attorney general Sally Yates had warned the Trump administration in late January that Flynn was susceptible to Russian blackmail, but Flynn did not resign until 18 days later, following the Post's report.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed a Special Prosecutor, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, to oversee the Russian Federation investigation last month. Some legal experts say Trump likely undermined those arguments because he's discussed the conversations in tweets and interviews.

Warner spoke on CNN's State of the Union and CBS's Face the Nation. Kelly, now among the highest paid personalities on network news (nearly $20 million per year), left Fox News for the network earlier this year, and will most likely secure another role on the morning schedule later this year, in addition to this one.

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