Moscow: Opponents of Donald Trump made up allegations of Russian interference in last year’s US elections to discredit him, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his annual press conference today.
“All this was made up by people who are opposed to Trump so as to delegitimise his work,” the president said in response to a question about allegations of Russian influence.
Putin said representatives of the Russian government had met with Trump’s team but said this was normal diplomatic practice.
“Our ambassador was accused of meeting with someone, but this is normal practice worldwide,” the president said.
“What is so transgressive in this case and why should it take on this spy-thriller tone?”
Putin said he hoped relations between the two countries would improve but suggested it would not be possible in the current US political climate.
Asked to assess Trump’s work so far as president, Putin said it was up to US voters rather than him to judge.
“We can see several quite significant achievements in the short time he has been at work,” Putin said, citing the markets and consumer confidence in particular.