Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed Megyn Kelly in front of an amused audience in St. Petersburg on Friday, mocking her claims of Russian meddling in the U.S. election and collusion between Trump and Russia.
Following Kelly’s request for an explanation as to why the U.S. intelligence agencies claim to have conclusive evidence of Russia hacking the DNC, Putin blasted the former Fox News host with the following reply:
“What are you talking about? IP addresses, they can be invented. You know, there are very many specialists that can invent or fake [this]. You know, a kid of yours can [fake an IP address]. Your girl that is three years old can perpetrate such an attack.”
Kelly, trying to regain her dignity, pleaded, “this is not my allegation, this is the conclusion of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies and the others that I mentioned.”
“What they say is that Russia not only hacked into the Democratic National Committee and hacked into Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails but that they also perpetuated a campaign of disinformation that involved putting out fake news stories through Russian-controlled entities like RT and Sputnik and that those then were pushed by aggregators and what they’re called bots on Twitter and specifically targeted at voters who were potentially pro-Trump.”
“All of us should take the American mass media’s role model,” Putin replied. “Megyn has been demonstrating today high class in her profession.”
Nbcnews.com reports: He also said that U.S. accusations about Russia were reminiscent of “anti-Semitism and blaming the Jews,” describing them as “disinformation.”
Putin made the comments in a panel discussion moderated by Kelly at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Later Friday, Kelly is due to go one-on-one with Putin in a sit-down interview.
Putin dismissed the hacking allegations “idle prattle,” “harmful” and issued his latest flat-out denial that Russia was behind the hacking.
“We didn’t do this. Stop this!” he said.
Putin blamed the allegations on “internal political bickering.”
He said: “There is no specific evidence, no facts, just assumptions, allegations and conclusions based on those allegations nothing more.”
On Thursday, Putin suggested for the first time that private “patriotic” hackers could be behind attacks on the world’s democracies — but he still denied interfering in the U.S. election.
In a wide-ranging question-and-answer session, Putin also questioned Trump’s call for NATO allies to increase their military spending. He asked: “If you’re not intending to attack anybody, why increase your military spending?”
He added: “The U.S. demands from their allies to raise their spending and simultaneously says that NATO is not going to attack anybody.”
Putin suggested that NATO was an outdated alliance.
“NATO was established as a Cold War instrument in the fight against the Soviet Union … there is no longer any … Soviet Union but NATO is still there. The question is, what for?” he asked.
“NATO has already been talking about transformation … into a political organization, as the kind of an organization that creates the elements of stability in the world,” Putin said. He added, however, that “so far we are seeing the way the military infrastructure is expanding and heading towards our borders.”
The Russian leader suggested the alliance’s continued existence could be explained because it was merely an “instrument of U.S. foreign policy.”
Trump has been pressing his 27 NATO allies to up their military spending to the 2 percent of GDP recommended by the alliance — a threshold only a handful of them meet. He has gone further than his predecessors and shocked Western foreign policy analysts by hinting that he may withhold America’s decades-long protection if these targets are not met.
Putin’s sky-high domestic popularity is built on his self-styled image as a man who can restore Russia to its former glory. He sees NATO as a Western encroachment on Russia’s borders.
Kelly said the interview would be “the first time he has sat down with an American journalist since the appointment of a special counsel to look into allegations of Russian interference in our election.”
The exclusive interview will air on “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” this Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.
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