In an interview set to air Sunday, Russia President Vladimir Putin told NBC’s Megyn Kelly that hackers that could have influenced the U.S. presidential election might not have come from his home country. In fact, he said that U.S. hackers could have been the ones to frame Russia.
“Hackers can be anywhere. They can be in Russia, in Asia … even in America, Latin America,” Putin told Kelly in a clip unveiled by NBC News. “They can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very skillfully and professionally shifted the blame, as we say, onto Russia. Can you imagine something like that? In the midst of a political battle?”
Putin had previously denied that Russia had anything to do with the election hack, but this week, he admitted “patriotically minded” Russian private hackers might have helped President Donald Trump win the election. That seemed to confirm what U.S. intelligence services have been saying all along.
But when talking with Kelly, Putin seemed to muddy the waters.
“By some calculations it was convenient for [potential U.S. hackers] to release this information, so they released it, citing Russia,” Putin said. “Could you imagine something like that? I can.”
Putin also said it could have been the CIA behind the hacking. In her video preview, Kelly said she also asked Putin if he had “something damaging” on Trump.
The entire interview can be seen Sunday at 7pm ET on Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly.