Speed Reads

shifting positions

Putin suggests 'patriotically minded' Russians may have played a hand in U.S. election meddling

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Thursday that some Russians may have in fact interfered with the U.S. presidential election last year, as American intelligence officials have charged. While Putin maintained that Russia was "not doing this on the state level," he suggested some "patriotically minded" Russians could have decided to make America their target.

"If they are patriotically minded, they start making their contributions — which are right, from their point of view — to the fight against those who say bad things about Russia," Putin said. He described the hackers as "artists" who decide their next target based on how they feel "when they wake up in the morning."

The New York Times noted this marked a shift from Putin's "previous blanket denials" of any Russian involvement whatsoever, and also echoed President Trump's suggestion that the Democratic National Committee hack, which has been blamed on Russia, could've been done by "somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds."