Mon, 17 Dec 2018
2
Copenhagen

President Vladimir Putin denied any Russian involvement when US Vice President Mike Pence asked last week about meddling in the 2016 election, the Kremlin's spokesperson said.

Dmitry Peskov told Russian television that Pence had "started the conversation with this subject" in a 10-minute talk with Putin on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore.

"The Americans are constantly repeating election interference as a mantra," Peskov said on a Sunday night talk show on Russian state television.

"The Russian side... also repeat as a mantra: 'Why don't you understand us, how can we explain to you once again that the Russian state has nothing to do and can have nothing to do with interference in internal affairs or electoral processes'," he said.

"This, by the way, was also said to Pence," Peskov said. "We presume that all of Putin's words will be passed on to the head of the American state."

Russia has been accused of manipulating the 2016 US presidential vote through a vast propaganda campaign in favour of Trump.

US investigators are currently probing alleged collusion between Russian agents and Trump's election campaign.

Trump has always denied any such links and was heavily criticised at home for failing to publicly confront Putin over election interference at a conference that followed talks in Helsinki in July.

Putin and Trump are expected to meet during the G20 summit in Argentina late this month.

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