Putin concedes Russian hackers could have interfered in US election

NY Times: Putin Hints at U.S. Election Meddling by ‘Patriotically Minded’ Russians

Shifting from his previous blanket denials, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said on Thursday that “patriotically minded” private Russian hackers could have been involved in cyberattacks last year to help the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump.

While Mr. Putin continued to deny any state role, his comments to reporters in St. Petersburg were a departure from the Kremlin’s previous position: that Russia had played no role whatsoever in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and that, after Mr. Trump’s victory, the country had become the victim of anti-Russia hysteria among crestfallen Democrats.

Raising the possibility of attacks by what he portrayed as free-spirited Russian patriots, Mr. Putin said that hackers “are like artists” who choose their targets depending how they feel “when they wake up in the morning.”

“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,” he added.

All the same, Mr. Putin stuck firmly to earlier denials that Russian state bodies or employees had been involved, an accusation leveled by United States intelligence agencies. They concluded in January that Mr. Putin himself had directed a Russian “influence campaign” involving cyberattacks and disinformation intended to tilt the November election in Mr. Trump’s favor.

“We’re not doing this on the state level,” Mr. Putin said on Thursday.

That could mean anything from Putin.

6 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  June 2, 2017

    The plot thickens.

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  June 2, 2017

      Once M-13 were set upon ol’ George Webb there was little option left for Putin.

  2. High Flying Duck

     /  June 2, 2017

    I think Putin is just reacting as expected. I mean what else could he do once Trump invoked Covfefe. It’s a game changer.

  3. Zedd

     /  June 2, 2017

    sounds like the ‘shit is about to hit the fan’ ?! 😀
    .. dump trump…

  4. It’s all a huge game. He must love playing whinging Hillary and watching the US eat itself

    • MaureenW

       /  June 2, 2017

      Watch the us eat itself – isn’t that the truth.