There is no “direct” proof that Russia interfered in last year’s U.S. presidential election, President Vladimir Putin said Monday.
Putin’s remarks came during an interview with NBC News’ Megyn Kelly.
“I have not once seen any direct proof of Russia’s interference in the presidential election in the U.S.A.,” Putin said, according to a statement by the Kremlin.
Putin said he had talked about the allegations with former President Barack Obama and with several other officials, adding: “No one ever showed me any direct evidence.”
“When we spoke with President Obama about that … I think he will tell you that he, too, is confident of it. But when he and I talked I saw that he, too, started having doubts,” he said.
Putin said he is “deeply convinced” that no interference from outside in “such a vast and great power” as the U.S. could influence the final outcome of the elections.
“It is not possible. Ever,” he added.
“I don’t want to offend anyone, but the United States, everywhere, all over the world, is actively interfering in electoral campaigns in other countries,” said the Russian leader.
Several senior U.S. intelligence officers have said publicly that Russian spy agencies are responsible for interfering in last year’s election, putting them at odds with President Donald Trump.