In an interview with NBC News’ Megyn Kelly Friday, Putin suggested that Russia was framed for the cyber campaign to undermine the election -- contrary to U.S. intelligence reports that Moscow had a direct hand in hacking political parties’ computer systems and sending found documents to WikiLeaks with the intention of hurting the public’s faith in the democratic process.
“Hackers can be anywhere,” Putin told Kelly. “There 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?"
He went on to imply hackers made a political calculation to leak information at certain times.
“By some calculations, it was convenient for them to release this information, so they released it, citing Russia,” he said. “Could you imagine something like that? I can.”
Both the House and the Senate are conducting investigations into Russian influence in the election and possible collusion between the Trump administration and the Kremlin.