U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has told a Russian-funded television network on September 8 that "it's probably unlikely" that Russia is trying to influence the U.S. election.
Trump, who has faced a backlash from both parties in recent days for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, was interviewed by Larry King, a veteran American journalist whose show airs on RT America, the U.S. partner of a network originally called Russia Today.
Trump's interview with King was promoted by RT America as an exclusive, although a Trump spokeswoman suggested to AP that Trump was not aware that King's program was linked to the Russian-backed network.
When King asked about reports that U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating whether Russia is trying to disrupt the election through cyberattacks, Trump said that he's skeptical.
"I think it's probably unlikely. I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out," Trump said. "I hope that if they are doing something, I hope that somebody's going to be able to find out, so they can end it, because that would not be appropriate at all."
Cybersecurity experts have blamed Russian intelligence agencies for electronic break-ins into Democratic Party computers this year.