Russian president Vladimir Putin thinks that it was good for the American public to be able to read the content of thousands of leaked Democratic National Committee emails, but he insists U.S. officials were wrong to pin the hack on his government.
“Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?’’ Putin told Bloomberg Politics in an interview published Thursday. “The important thing is the content that was given to the public.’’
“There’s no need to distract the public’s attention from the essence of the problem by raising some minor issues connected with the search for who did it,” the Russian president added. “But I want to tell you again, I don’t know anything about it, and on a state level Russia has never done this.”
A cybersecurity expert told Bloomberg that Russia’s “track record” of state-sponsored hacking actually dates back at least a decade.
U.S. officials have claimed that Russian intelligence agents were likely the source of the DNC hack as well as a cyberattack on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DNC emails, which were leaked just before the start of the Democratic National Convention in July, revealed that senior party staffers had mocked Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign.
Putin told Bloomberg that the emails revealed that “the campaign headquarters worked in the interest of one of the candidates, in this case Mrs. Clinton, rather than equally for all of the Democratic party candidates.”
The FBI is investigating both the DNC and DCCC hacks. A number of other organizations, including Washington, D.C. think tanks that study Russia and the Moscow bureau of The New York Times, also reportedly have been hacked in recent weeks.