Patriotic Russians may have staged cyber attacks on own initiative: Putin

Cheryl Sanders
June 2, 2017

Shifting from his previous blanket denials, Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that "patriotically minded" private Russian hackers could have been involved in cyber attacks a year ago to help the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. "The hackers are the same, they would wake up, read about something going on in interstate relations and if they have patriotic leanings, they may try to add their contribution to the fight against those who speak badly about Russian Federation".

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he likes guys like Mr Donald Trump and wants to build better relations with the United States President even though swirling controversies in Washington are making it hard for him to govern. "If they are patriotically minded, they start making their contributions-which are right, from their point of view-to the fight against those who say bad things about Russian Federation", he said.

The Russian leader insisted that his country would "never engage in that at the state level".

"We don't know each other, we've never met", Putin said on Thursday, before offering an assessment of the USA leader.

Putin said that although the Kremlin had found Trump's campaign statements about pursuing friendlier relations with Russia encouraging, existing opportunities for cooperation and closer ties between the USA and Russia in areas of mutual interest were blocked by ongoing "Russo-phobic hysteria" in Washington, a reference to ongoing investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 general election, and alleged links between the Trump campaign organization and Russian agents.

THAAD has also angered South Korea's trade ally China, which says the system will do little to deter the missile threat from North Korea, while allowing the U.S. military to use the system's powerful radar to look deep into its territory, undermining its security.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday claimed that the country has never indulged in hacking any election, and will never do so in the future either.

Putin said that economic restrictions against Russian Federation have had "zero effect", predicting that the current strain in relations will ease, because "it's counterproductive and harmful for all".

The House intelligence committee says it is issuing subpoenas for Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen - President Donald Trump's former national security adviser and his personal lawyer - as well as their businesses as part of its investigation into Russian activities during last year's election.

Russian meddling was also a concern in France, with Putin publicly expressing his sympathy for President Emmanuel Macron's rivals in the campaign. "And we will continue the appropriate dialogue with the new US President Trump and the new Administration", said Putin.

Mr.Modi further said that it was a momentous occasion at the cemetary of the World War Second, where he offered tributes to the martyrs including the brother of the President Putin. "Modern technology allows to do that quite easily".

The Russian leader said he will wait out US political battles to forge a constructive relationship with President Trump.

Meanwhile, Russia remains under United States and European Union sanctions because of its involvement in the Ukraine conflict and annexation of Crimea.

Earlier in the day, Putin said that "Russo-phobia" in the West would "not last for too long, not forever, if only because the understanding has to come that it is counterproductive and harms everyone".

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin came as close as he ever has to acknowledging Russian hacking, but he insisted that the Russian government was not involved in hacking the US presidential election.

Washington was using North Korea as a pretext to expand its military infrastructure in Asia in the same way it had used Iran as a pretext to develop a missile shield in Europe, charged Putin.

Other reports by iNewsToday