- Russian President Vladimir Putin smirked and brushed off a copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians during an interview with Fox News Channel host Chris Wallace.
- Mueller’s Friday indictment of Russian intelligence officers named 12 members of the GRU for conspiring to infiltrate computers that contained US election-related software.
- As Wallace continued explaining the contents of the indictment, Putin let out a laugh.
Russian President Vladimir Putin smirked and brushed off a copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment after being handed the stack of papers during an interview with Fox News Channel host Chris Wallace on Monday.
“Mr. President, one of the issues that is standing in the way of more progress, as you know, are the allegations of Russian interference in the US election,” Wallace said to Putin. “You have repeatedly said, and you said again today, that this was not the action of the Russian state, that if it was anything it was patriotic Russian individuals.”
Wallace referred to Mueller’s indictment of Russian intelligence officers on Friday, in which his team named 12 members of the military intelligence unit GRU for conspiring to infiltrate computers that contained election-related software.
Wallace held the stack of papers in full view of Putin: “I have here the indictment that was presented on Friday from the special counsel, Robert Mueller,” Wallace said.
As Wallace continued explaining the contents of the indictment, Putin let out a laugh.
“And they talk specifically about Units 26165 and 74455, they say – you smiled,” Wallace said. “Let me finish.”
Wallace gestured towards Putin with the indictment and asked if he wanted to read its contents: “May I give this to you to look at, sir?”
After a brief pause, Putin gestured for Wallace to drop the documents on a nearby table. The Russian president then went on to deny all of the allegations made by Mueller and the US intelligence community.
“Russia, as a state, has never interfered with the internal affairs of the United States, let alone its elections,” Putin said. “Do you really believe that someone acting from the Russian territory could have influenced the United States and influenced the choice of millions of Americans?”
Wallace countered that the issue was not whether American voters were influenced, but Russia’s attempts to interfere. US intelligence agencies and officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, have given a scathing assessment of Russia’s actions and concluded it used cyberattacks and other means to meddle in the US presidential election.
Following Trump’s joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, Coats said it was “clear” that Russia had “ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.”
Watch the clip here:
Russian President Putin when pressed on his country's alleged interference in the U.S. elections and indictments against Russian nationals: Russia as a state has never interfered with the internal affairs of the United States. #WallacePutinOnFox https://t.co/OqrOzjYveR pic.twitter.com/EzEYyttOmu
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 16, 2018
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