In an edited glimpse of an official interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused U.S. congress of “yelling and hollering” over Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election.
In the interview, Vladimir Putin stated “I have to see first what they’ve done. Give us materials, give us information.”
Megyn Kelly responded by stating “creating interference in our election by creating bots that spread false information on Twitter, on Facebook, spreading misinformation when it comes to Black Lives Matter…that’s what I’m talking about.”
Putin fired back by stating “with all due respect for you personally, with all due respect for Congress, you must have people with legal degrees. One hundred percent you do.”
“And people who are well educated who must understand that we Russia cannot prosecute anyone if they have not violated Russian law.”
“You have to understand that what it takes is an official request to the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation. Give us a document. Give us an official request.”
Megyn Kelly responded by stating “you said that last time and now I’m back with an indictment.”
To which Putin responded “this has to go through official channels, not through the press, or yelling and hollering in the United States congress.”
In a previous interview with Kelly, Putin stated “I am deeply convinced that no interference from the outside in any country, even a small one, let alone in such a vast and great power as the U.S., can influence the final outcome of the elections.”
The interview relates to an investigation conducted by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller which has so far resulted in the indictment of 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian organisations.
The indictment states the Internet Research Agency “sought, in part, to conduct ‘information warfare against the United States of America’ through fictitious U.S. personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media.”
According to Facebook’s own internal investigation, around 10 million people saw the “Russian ads” published on its platform. It also states 44% of the total impressions delivered were before the U.S. election and roughly 25% of the ads were never show to anyone.
According to comments made in February by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the activity was both pro-Trump and anti-Trump. “After the election, the defendants allegedly staged rallies to support the president-elect while simultaneously staging rallies to protest his election,” he said.