Putin denies involvement in hacking, hails Trump

Staff Writer

ST.PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) โ€” President Vladimir Putin insisted Thursday that the Russian state has never engaged in hacking and said Moscow will wait out the current political storm in the U.S. to forge constructive relations with President Donald Trump, whom he praised as a straightforward person with a "fresh set of eyes."
The Russian leader acknowledged the possibility that some individual "patriotic" hackers could have mounted some attacks amid the current cold spell in Russia's relations with the West, but scoffed at allegations that hackers could influence the outcome of elections in the United States or Europe.
Speaking at a meeting with senior editors of leading international news agencies, Putin also alleged that some evidence pointing at Russian hackers' participation in cyberattacks โ€” he didn't specify which โ€” could have been falsified in an attempt to smear Russia.
"I can imagine that some do it deliberately, staging a chain of attacks in such a way as to cast Russia as the origin of such an attack," Putin said. "Modern technologies allow that to be done quite easily."
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