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the first believer

Vladimir Putin: 'No one but the Russians' expected Donald Trump to win the election

Russian President Vladimir Putin spent a big chunk of his annual year-end news conference Friday talking about U.S. politics. Reuters reported Putin boasted that "no one but the Russians expected [President-elect Donald] Trump to win," and he slammed Democrats for how they handled their surprise defeat in the presidential election. "You need to learn how to lose gracefully," Putin said to Democrats. Reuters said he added the Democratic Party is "losing on all fronts" and "wrongly trying to blame" Trump's win on "external factors."

Putin also "repeatedly denied" that Moscow was involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee, though he did note "the question of who hacked the U.S. Democratic Party was not important," per Reuters' report. What's important, Putin said, is that the information was revealed. "The main thing is the essence of information that the hackers provided and revealed for the benefit of the public opinion," Putin said, per Time. "Did they trump up anything? No, they did not. They revealed the truthful information."