Russia censures US 'hysteria' over new meddling claim
Story Code : 742245
Moscow and Washington have been exchanging barbs over an allegation by the US intelligence officials that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election in favor of incumbent President Donald Trump.
"The two-year hysteria over some kind of Russian interference in elections, which never happened, does not only damage bilateral relations but makes a mockery of the whole political system in the US," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Friday.
Senior intelligence and national security officials in the Trump administration claimed on Thursday that Russia was behind a “pervasive and ongoing” attempt to influence the mid-term elections in the United States.
Trump’s top aides, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Adviser John Bolton, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, appeared in the White House briefing room on Thursday to stress that a major effort was underway to protect the integrity of congressional elections in November and the presidential election in 2020.
Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Moscow and has condemned the ongoing US federal investigations over the alleged meddling, drawing accusations from Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike that he is ignoring a threat to American democracy.
A federal special counsel is leading a criminal investigation of Russia's alleged interference in the presidential election, and any possible cooperation with Trump’s presidential campaign.
Last month, Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland, where the Russian president reiterated that Moscow did not interfere in the US election.
“I had to reiterate things I said several times, including during our personal contacts, that the Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere into internal American affairs including election process,” Putin said through a translator at a joint press conference after the meeting on July 16.