Russian President Vladimir Putin said hackers who leaked sensitive Democratic files last year could have been from anywhere, including the United States, in a Friday interview with NBC.
“Hackers can be anywhere – they can be in Russia, in Asia, even in Latin America. 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,” he told the US news network.
Emails stolen from Democratic National Committee servers last year revealed that its members had undercut more left-wing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton. They were dumped online by WikiLeaks amid a tightly-fought campaign, causing the DNC chairwoman to resign and hurting Clinton’s bid.
Speaking with the NBC, President Putin said it might have been convenient for whoever stole the files to release this information “in the midst of political battle.” “Could you imagine something like that? I can,” he said.
On Thursday, Putin again denied rumors that the Russian government was behind cyberattacks in the United States or elsewhere, during a meeting with press agencies at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).