The Kremlin confirmed on Sunday that Ambassador Sergey Kislyak did meet with Trump campaign staffers during the election to discuss “bilateral relations,” and Clinton’s staffers were also contacted, according to a report in the New York Post.
Russian diplomat Dmitry Peskov has denied accusations of Moscow having meddled in the 2016 presidential election, but said that as part of his diplomatic duties, Ambassador Sergey Kislyak did meet with staffers from both parties.
Peskov told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday, “This is his job. He was talking about bilateral relations. He was talking about what is going on in the United States so we have a better understanding in Moscow. This is what is being performed by every ambassador of Russia abroad, every ambassador of the United States abroad, including in Moscow.”
When asked about Kislyak’s meeting with staffers from the Clinton camp, Peskov explained that the ambassador met with “people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary.” He added, “Well, if you look at some people connected with Hillary Clinton during her campaign, you would probably see that he had lots of meetings of that kind. But there were no meetings about elections – electoral process.”
Democrats continue to claim that Kislyak’s meetings with Trump officials before the election suggest collusion. Michael Flynn was even forced to resign as national security director because he reportedly met with Kislyak during the election and didn’t tell White House officials about those meetings.
Peskov denied the allegations of collusion with Trump officials meant to disrupt the election, noting that by raising such accusations, the U.S. looks quite foolish.
“The answer is very simple … No,” he said, adding that Russia being demonized in this way is surprising. “We – quite unexpectedly – we faced a situation when Russia all of a sudden became, let’s say, a nightmare for the United States. And we sincerely cannot understand why American people and American politicians started the process of self-humiliation. You’re self-humiliating yourself, saying that a country can intervene in your election process.”
H/T: New York Post
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