11:06 Sep. 2, 2016
Russian president denies his government is behind the attacks on DNC servers, which resulted in publishing 20,000 private e-mails
Vladimir Putin said the hacking of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails and documents was a service to the public, but denied U.S. accusations that Russia's government had anything to do with it.
"Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?'' Putin said in an interview at the Pacific port city of Vladivostok on Thursday. "The important thing is the content that was given to the public.''
U.S. officials blame hackers working for the Russian government for the attacks on DNC servers earlier this year that resulted in WikiLeaks publishing about 20,000 private emails just before Hillary Clinton's nominating convention in July. The documents showed attempts by party officials to undermine her chief Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, and led to the resignation of the head of the DNC, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.
"There's no need to distract the public's attention from the essence of the problem by raising some minor issues connected with the search for who did it," Putin said of the DNC hack. "But I want to tell you again, I don't know anything about it, and on a state level Russia has never done this."
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has high confidence that the Russian government was behind the breach at the DNC and other Democratic Party organizations seeking to propel Clinton to victory over Republican Donald Trump in November, a person familiar with the findings has said. Trump has praised Putin as a leader and his former campaign chairman spent years working for the Putin ally who was ousted from Ukraine's presidency in 2014.