Date
11 December 2016
Vladimir Putin says he finds it hard to believe that anyone seriously thinks Moscow is capable of influencing the Nov. 8 US election. Photo: Reuters
Vladimir Putin says he finds it hard to believe that anyone seriously thinks Moscow is capable of influencing the Nov. 8 US election. Photo: Reuters

Putin: Hysteria over Russia a US election ploy

President Vladimir Putin is accusing US politicians of whipping up hysteria about a perceive Russian threat to distract voters in the run-up to the Nov. 8 presidential election.

The US government has formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organisations while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has accused Republican rival Donald Trump of being a Putin “puppet”.

Putin lashed out at the Obama administration, saying it did not keep its word on Syria, did not honor deals and had falsely accused Moscow of all manner of sins, Reuters reports.

Putin said he found it hard to believe that anyone seriously thought Moscow was capable of influencing the US election.

“Hysteria has been whipped up,” said Putin.

He said that was a ruse to cover up for the fact that the US political elite had nothing to say about serious issues such as the country’s national debt or gun control.

“It’s much simpler to distract people with so-called Russian hackers, spies, and agents of influence. Does anyone really think that Russia could influence the American people’s choice in any way? Is America a banana republic or what? America is a great power.”

In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissed Putin’s remarks as predictable and said the United States stood by its hacking allegations.

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