Russian President Vladimir Putin maintained in an interview with media outlet Bloomberg that Russia had nothing to doing with the hacking of the U.S. Democratic National Committee.
Thousands of the DNC’s emails and documents were hacked earlier this year, revealing that the DNC gave preferential treatment to Hillary Clinton over her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders. Both were vying to become the party’s presidential candidate.
“Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data,” Putin said in the interview conducted in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok. “The important thing is the content that was given to the public.”
In the wake of the release of the data, DNC chairman and U.S. lawmaker Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down from her DNC responsibilities.
“I don’t know anything about it,” Putin said, adding “and on a state level Russia has never done this.”
Putin also denied in the Bloomberg interview allegations the hack was an attempt by Russia to influence the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
Putin beat back that accusation, saying that move would require a subtle understanding of American politics. “To do that you need to have a finger on the pulse and get the specifics of the domestic political life of the U.S.,” he said. “I’m not sure that even our Foreign Ministry experts are sensitive enough.”
The Russian president’s interview with Bloomberg came just two days before world leaders, including Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama, arrive in China for the Group of 20 meeting.
In late July, the website Wikileaks published a collection of nearly 20,000 emails obtained from the DNC. Wikileaks did not reveal its source, though a hacker who goes by the name of Guccifer 2.0 claimed responsibility for the attack.
Members of the Democratic Party and members of the U.S. intelligence community have repeatedly accused Russian intelligence services as being behind the hack.