Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the hacks of Democratic National Committee files during this election season but denied the widely held suspicion that his nation was behind the espionage.
“Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?’’ Putin told Bloomberg News on Thursday. “The important thing is the content that was given to the public."
The 20,000 hacked documents contained embarrassing communications that suggested the party was actively trying to buoy eventual nominee Hillary Clinton and sink rival Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries. They were released at the start of the Democratic National Convention, leading to the resignation of party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other top officials.
Putin repeatedly insisted that his nation had nothing to the do with the matter. “We definitely don’t do this at a state level,” Putin said.
The U.S. presidential nominees have vastly differing approaches to confronting an increasingly aggressive Russia. Donald Trump has repeatedly praised Putin, while Hillary Clinton has argued that he is a dangerous force for upheaval in eastern Europe.