Megyn Kelly: Mr. President, You said several times that Russia is not involved in the intervention in the presidential elections, including the plenary session of the St. Petersburg economic forum. However, in the United States believe that you did it. There are 17 agencies in the field of security, who claim that Democrats, Republicans, all the committees who have seen classified material, say it is so. Are they all lying?
Vladimir Putin: They are deluded and analyze information in full. I never saw any direct evidence of Russian interference in presidential elections in the United States.
We talked about this with former President Obama, we spoke to some other officials — no one has ever shown me one shred of direct evidence.
When we talked with President Obama on this score — it’s better to ask him — I think he will tell You that he, too, sure, but when we talked to him, I saw that he hesitated. I, at least, that’s what I saw.
I already told You, I can repeat that today’s technologies are such that end address, you can disguise that no one would understand the origin of this’. Conversely, you can substitute any structure, any person, that all will think that he is the source of a particular attack. Modern technology is very sophisticated, delicate and allow it to do. When we understand this, we will get rid of any illusions. This is the first.
Secondly, I am deeply convinced that no outside interference in any, even the smallest country, and especially in such a big, great power like the United States, could not affect the final result of the election. It’s impossible.
— And the other side says that only 70 thousand votes changed the outcome of the election. And it is not too difficult to affect 70 thousand votes.
— The United States Constitution and the electoral law is constructed in such a way that a candidate can vote a greater number of electors, which is a smaller number of voters. And such cases in the history of the United States are. Really?
Therefore, if we talk about some socio-political justice, then we need to change is the electoral law to bring the case to enable the direct secret ballot elected the head of state and was a direct calculation, which can be easily controlled. That’s all. And there’s nobody to point to and blame someone else for their troubles to those who lost the election.
Now, if this page still flip, I’ll tell You what You probably should know: I don’t mean to offend, but the United States everywhere around the world to actively intervene in election campaigns in other countries. It’s you really not know?
Talk, just so that (as far as it is possible for You) to convince people that You’re not going to make it public. That’s where the finger on a world map nor a poke, everywhere You will complain that us officials intervene in their domestic political processes.
So if someone, I’m not saying that we (we intervened), but if someone somehow influences or attempts to influence, or somehow involved in these processes, then it really the United States not to be offended. Who tells us who is offended at us for what we interfering? You are constantly interfering.
— Sounds like an excuse.
— It doesn’t sound like an excuse, it sounds like a statement of fact. Every action has a corresponding reaction. But, again, we don’t need to do, I told You about it by chance — You and other representatives of the media and recently in France said the same thing: presidents come and go, and even change the party in power and the main political line has not changed. So by and large we don’t care who is at the head of the United States, we know about what will happen. In this regard, we are, even if I wanted to, some do not make sense to intervene.
— You said that Russia has nothing to do with intervention in the American elections, and this week You suddenly talked about some Patriotic hackers. Why have You started to talk about it, about the Patriotic hackers who can somehow act?
Just me French journalists asked about these hackers. And I just like them and can tell You that hackers can be anywhere, they could be in Russia, in Asia, in the U.S., in Latin America. It could be hackers, by the way, in the United States, which are very skillfully and professionally moved, as we say, “the arrow” on Russia. You can not afford to let that happen? In the course of the political struggle they had, for whatever reasons, it is convenient to give this information. They issued it, referring to Russia. You can not imagine? I can.
Let us remember the assassination of President Kennedy. After all, there is a version that the murder of President Kennedy organized a secret services of the United States. If this story is true, and that cannot be excluded, what is easier in today’s environment, using all the technical possibilities of intelligence agencies, to organize attacks accordingly, referring still to Russia. And what does the candidate of the Democratic party so beloved in the United States? What is really so popular people were? And this candidate also had its political opponents and adversaries.
Let’s go ahead. A special Council was appointed to investigate the connections between your Government and campaign trump. You said that Ambassador Kislyak was just doing his job. And what was discussed at those meetings?
There were no meetings. Understand, the meetings were not any. When I saw this, just opened his mouth.
— That is, meetings between Mr. Kislyak and someone from the headquarters trump was not?
© Official Twitter feed of the Russian Embassy in the United States of Amigos Sergey Kislyak and U.S. President Donald trump. May 10, 2017
I have no idea. I tell You quite frankly. I don’t know. This is the current work of the Ambassador. Do you think that the ambassadors from all over the world and from the United States me every day to report who he’s meeting, what was discussed? The delusion of some kind. You know what You are asking or not?
— You’re his boss, You’re his boss.
— The chief — Minister of foreign Affairs. You think I have time every day to chat with our ambassadors around the world? Bullshit. Don’t You realize that this is nonsense? I don’t even know who he met there.
If it were something outstanding, out of the ordinary, he would, of course, reported to the Minister, the Minister for me. It was nothing like this.
— Since it happened, You talked with the Ambassador about what was discussed with Kouchner, Michael Flynn, with someone else from the staff?
— No, I didn’t.
— Were you curious about?
— No, because if it was something significant, he would have reported to the Minister, the Minister reported to me. No reports have been. Current, meaningless job, no, maybe even prospects.
Just someone who decided to cling to it and elected it as a line of attack on the incumbent. It is not our business, it is your there internal showdown. Practice them yourself.
Nothing, nothing to talk about. Even there was no specific discussion on sanctions or something. For me, it’s amazing: you scratch made a sensation and turned it into a tool against the current President. You know what? You’re such inventive people out there are so well done. You are bored to live, apparently.
— Perhaps You have heard that there are researching what Jared Kushner, a relative of the President — Kislyak in December discussed back channel communications between the headquarters of the trump and the Russian Government, and there was an offer on the part of Kushner that they can do it at the Russian Consulate or Embassy, can use the Russian equipment for communication that such a relationship took place. And that US intelligence didn’t hear that. You think that’s a good idea?
— Russia did not have any channels with any of the staffs of candidates in presidents of the United States. No. Russia no channel is not created and no one had any channels. Perhaps had some official contacts with the staffs of all the candidates, this is a normal diplomatic practice.
— Was the proposal of Mr. Kouchner, how would You like it?
I don’t know about this proposal. To me this proposal has not been received.
— Mr. Flynn You know he came here for dinner, there is a photo that circulated in the American media. What was your relationship with Mr. Flynn?
— I have with You personally is a much more intimate relationship than with Mr. Flynn. We met yesterday evening, we spent the whole day together worked, now meet again.
When I came to the event our company Russia Today, and sat at the table, sat next to a gentleman on the one hand, on the other hand someone else was sitting, then I made another about something talked, I got up and left.
And then I said, “You know, it’s an American citizen, he was engaged, he used the security services worked, and now he does so-and-so.” I said, “well, Well, you with him cooperate?” “No, we just invited as one of the guests.” I said, “Well done, thank God.” All!
I almost didn’t talk. I only said Hello, sat down, then said goodbye, got up and left. That’s all my acquaintance with Mr. Flynn. Here if Flynn was such a contact, and You — all day, Flynn has been fired from work, and You should just be arrested and put in jail.
— Many Americans hear the name “Vladimir Putin”. They think he runs the country that is submerged in corruption; a country where journalists who are critical of expressing my point of view, are killed; a country where dissidents can be imprisoned, or something worse. Those who think so, what would You say?
I want to say that Russia is developing in a democratic way. It is by far, and this should not have any doubts. What is happening in the course of any political struggle, even some of the events means that there is something that is done in other countries, do not see unusual.
We are going to the rallies of the opposition, we the people have the right to Express their point of view. Yes, if people in the course of expressing its own opinion violates the applicable legislation, the current law, then, of course, law enforcement trying to restore order.
Draw Your attention to what I said awhile ago, being in France, and in communicating with other colleagues from Europe. Our police, thank God, — yet, anyway — does not apply no truncheons, no tear gas or other extreme measures to restore order, that we often see in other countries, including in the United States.
As for the opposition. Let us remember the Occupy Wall Street movement, where is it now? Law enforcement agencies and special services of the United States took it apart on wheels and dissolved. I did not ask You a question: how can you have democracy in the United States? The more that electoral law is far from perfect in the United States. Why do you feel entitled to ask us such questions, and continuously engage in moralizing and teach us to live?
We are ready to listen to our partners, we are ready to listen to the assessments when this is done benevolently, with the aim to establish contact, to create a unified atmosphere, to devote himself to the service of common values, but we absolutely do not accept, when such things are used as tools of political struggle. Want everyone to know about it. This is our message.
— Were the issues in America regarding Finance Donald trump, he published a Declaration, there is some secret dossier, as saying. He says it’s a fake. But it says that there is some kind of blackmail from the Russian side, some were communications between the Kremlin and the headquarters of the trump. All this is forcing Americans to ask: “do you have any information that is defamatory of the President of the Tampa?”
Just another nonsense. Where we have some information? We were with some special relationship? In General, there were no relations. He came to Moscow at the time. You know, I never met him.
A lot is coming to us Americans. Now, in my opinion, representatives of a hundred American companies came to Russia. You think I every representative of the American company was found?
You have probably seen, as I went down the hall where the sitting of our colleagues. I think they are our friends, they all work in Russia, many years. They are investors, CEOs of the largest American companies, they are interested in working together.
And thank God, we certainly will welcome every one of them. And each of them, we believe it is our friend, and will help them in implementing their plans in Russia. Will try to make an effort to work here successfully and profitably.
They all should be arrested then? What are you, crazy? But what about the freedom of the economy? What about human rights? Do you think we each of them are now dirt, or what, collect? Are you crazy or not?
— The last question. We in St. Petersburg has held for about a week. Almost every person we met on the street, says that they respect You because, in their opinion, You have returned Russia to its dignity. You have once again made Russia respected by all. You run this country for 17 years. Tell me, is it somehow affected You personally?
— I hope not.
What do I feel? I feel a direct, living connection with the land, with history, with the country. You said that in St. Petersburg for a few days. We spoke yesterday with the Prime Minister of India, he visited the Piskarevskoye memorial cemetery, where are buried about 400 thousand of Leningrad, as a rule, civilians who died during the Second world war in the blockade. They died of starvation. And in one of the graves buried my older brother, whom I never saw, and I’ll never forget this — as well as what condition our country was in the early 90-ies.
We are today debating in the course of the conversation, but in our times this time: from 2000 to today… we Have a lot of problems and even the poverty threshold is now a little worse than we planned. The situation will be corrected, I’m sure. But still we have significantly increased real wages of the population, significantly increased pension.
The economy was quite different in General: change the volume, almost twice the economy grew by volumes, and its quality varies. Not as fast as we would like, but the structure is changing. Today we have a completely different Armed Forces compared to what it was, say, 15 years ago.
And all this, of course, including our great history, culture, all of it, not just what we see today, the vast majority of Russian citizens proud of their country.
— Mr President, thank you very much.