Russia’s government on Monday insisted there was no evidence that it meddled in the US elections, after Washington indicted 13 Russians and three Russian firms for alleged covert efforts to sway voters.
“There are no indications that the Russian government could be involved in this,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
It was the Kremlin’s first comment since the indictments were filed on Friday by a US special prosecutor as part of a federal government probe.
The indictments allege that an associate of President Vladimir Putin led a Russia-based operation churning out social media content, using fake US identities, that included criticisms of Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race.
US President Donald Trump on Sunday glossed over any Russian responsibility and offered no indication of what his administration would do about it.
He wrote on Twitter that Russia had indeed succeeded in sowing discord in the US but denied that his campaign colluded with Russia, saying that this was what Moscow wanted people to believe.
“If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams,” Trump tweeted.
“They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!” he added.
“The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia — it never did!” he said, alleging that “the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” referring to Clinton and her party.
Trump also accused the FBI of spending “too much time” on the probe.
– Russia calls claims ‘blabber’ –
Peskov said that the claims centred on Russian citizens but that the Russian government was not, and could not, be involved.
The United States has failed to provide “significant evidence” of any meddling in its affairs, he insisted.
He added that Russia “does not have a custom of interfering in other countries’ internal affairs and is not doing this now.”
Earlier Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had dismissed the claims in the indictment as “blabber.”
The allegations of Russian interference and collusion with the Trump campaign are being investigated by several congressional committees and by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.