Putin Says A Child Could Fake Hacking Evidence

Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed charges of meddling in the United States’ 2016 election on Friday, saying that a young child could have manufactured evidence to support the assertion of U.S. intelligence agencies.

“IP addresses can be invented, a child can do that! Your underage daughter could do that. That is not proof,” Putin told NBC’s Megyn Kelly in a roundtable discussion Friday alongside the leaders of India, Austria and Moldova, according to the network.

Putin also said that United States’ intelligence agencies blaming Russia for the interference “reminds me of anti-Semitism and blaming the Jews.”

At various points, he called the allegations “disinformation,” “idle prattle” and “harmful,” according to the network.

Putin has, intentionally or not, frequently echoed President Donald Trump’s criticisms of the focus on potential ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia during the presidential election.

On Monday, Putin told a French newspaper that the allegations of Russian meddling were a “fiction” driven by Democrats’ “desire … to improve their standing by accusing Russia of interfering.” Trump has similarly accused Democrats of politicizing congressional and federal investigations into the interference.

And Putin’s remark to Kelly that the TV host’s young daughter could have pinned responsibility on Russia is reminiscent of Trump’s remark, during a debate, that “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds” could have hacked Democratic National Committee during the campaign, not Russian operatives.

On multiple occasions, Trump has compared leaks that he said originated in the intelligence community to what occurred in Nazi Germany.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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