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World Putin 'couldn't care less' if Russian citizens meddled in US election

00:30  12 march  2018
00:30  12 march  2018 Source:   cnn.com

Putin tells U.S. to send evidence of vote meddling

  Putin tells U.S. to send evidence of vote meddling Russian President Vladimir Putin told Washington to send him hard evidence that his citizens meddled in U.S. elections, mocking accusations to date as "yelling and hollering in the United States Congress".The office of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three firms last month with interfering in the 2016 presidential vote as part of what it called a conspiracy to support Donald Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton.

A picture taken on March 8, 2018 shows Russia's President Vladimir Putin congratulating Russian women on International Women's Day. © ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/AFP/Getty Images A picture taken on March 8, 2018 shows Russia's President Vladimir Putin congratulating Russian women on International Women's Day.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he "couldn't care less" if Russian citizens tried to meddle in the 2016 US election because, he claimed, the perpetrators weren't linked to the Kremlin.

During a no-holds-barred interview with NBC News' Megyn Kelly, Putin repeatedly denied ordering a multifaceted influence campaign to sabotage the presidential election.

"Why have you decided the Russian authorities, myself included, gave anybody permission to do this?" Putin asked.

Putin on alleged US election interference: I don't care

  Putin on alleged US election interference: I don't care Russian President Vladimir Putin says he doesn't care about alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.In an interview with American broadcaster NBC News that aired Saturday, Putin also suggested that some of the 13 Russian nationals indicted by the United States may not be ethnically Russian.

Last month, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for allegedly meddling in the 2016 presidential election, charging them with conspiracy to defraud the United States.

"So what if they're Russians?" Putin said of the people listed in Mueller's indictment. "There are 146 million Russians. So what?

"I don't care," he added. "I couldn't care less. ...They do not represent the interests of the Russian state."

In addition to expressing indifference, the foreign leader suggested that the election meddlers may not even be Russian.

"Maybe they are not even Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars or Jews, but with Russian citizenship, which should also be checked," he said.

Throughout the interview, which was conducted on March 1 and 2 in Russia, Putin rejected the notion that the Kremlin was involved in the election process.

When asked why Russia wouldn't interfere in US elections, Putin insisted the country neither has the desire nor the means to do it. Putin's denial, however, runs counter to assessments by US intelligence agencies.

The US intelligence community said in a January 2017 report that the Russian government interfered in the presidential election -- to help Trump win -- by hacking Democratic targets, facilitating damaging releases through WikiLeaks and using social media to spread misinformation. The report said Putin "ordered" the meddling effort.

N. Korea's Kim congratulates Putin on election victory .
<p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent "heartfelt congratulations" on Tuesday to Russian President Vladimir Putin.</p>In contrast to some other international leaders who have been slow to send congratulations, Kim said Putin's re-election "is an expression of your people's great support and trust in you.

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