Russia's authorities deal with opposition rallies in a far softer way than in other countries, including the United States, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly, advising the U.S. officials to be less moralizing. "The law enforcement agencies and special services in the USA have taken it apart, into little pieces, and have dissolved it".
Vladimir Putin responded negatively to questions about contacts with former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and other representatives of the United States president's team. "I'm being completely honest with you".
Mr Putin said the USA intelligence agencies had been misled over their findings. Vanity Fair's headline blared "Even Putin Seemed Bored With Megyn Kelly's Interview". I longed for one of the incredulous reactions 60 Minutes correspondents like Mike Wallace and Ed Bradley were famous for when an interview source told a whopper, saying "come on" with a look that told the viewer they weren't buying what they were just told.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has no knowledge of a reported pre-inauguration proposal by President Donald Trump's son in law and top aide Jared Kushner to set up a secret, bug-proof communications channel with the Kremlin. "I don't know. The routine job of an ambassador - do you think that from all over the world or from the United States, the ambassador reports to me every day who he meets with or what they discuss there?" The White House appears to be considering raising the issue of executive privilege, but Trump may have a weak case for claiming that his conversations with Comey should be considered private, especially since the president himself has commented publicly about the circumstances surrounding Comey's May 9 firing. "You created a sensation out of nothing and out of this sensation, you turned it into a weapon of war against the current president".
This, of course, is the Kremlin's standard response when challenged with the findings of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies who collectively assert that President Putin ordered his people to intervene on the side of President Trump.
It was fascinating to see Showtime run a commercial during the show promoting their far more extensive interviews with Putin which were conducted by Oliver Stone. "As of right now we have no credible evidence that there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government and if we found that I would run it over to the Department of Justice and ask for prosecution as soon as that happened", Nunes said, USA Today reports.
In the end, the interview accomplished what Putin and Kelly needed - she got a big name for her debut episode and he got a forum to push back angrily against American media and intelligence services. "You and I personally have a much closer relationship than I had with Mr. Flynn", Putin told Megyn Kelly.
"It's awesome for me: you've made a sensation out of nothing and turned it into a tool to struggle against the sitting president".
Finally, Putin scolded Kelly for daring to ask about pesky Russian journalists who end up dead and political dissidents who find themselves in prison.
But that's not how NBC News spun it in a promo for the interview on Twitter.
Putin told Kelly that he has "no idea" if Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the USA, met with any members of Trump's team before inauguration.