U.S. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of endorsing "foreign interference" in the presidential election after he said recent leaks of Democratic e-mails were a "public service."
Putin in an interview with Bloomberg news published on September 2 denied accusations that Russia’s government was behind the cyber intrusions, but said: “Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data? The important thing is the content that was given to the public."
Clinton spokesman Jesse Lehrich responded in an e-mail to Bloomberg, saying, “Unsurprisingly, Putin has joined [Republican presidential candidate Donald] Trump in cheering foreign interference in the U.S. election that is clearly designed to inflict political damage on Hillary Clinton and Democrats.”
Lehrich said the campaign still believes it was Russia which hacked the Democratic National Committee's e-mail in an embarassing episode just before the party's nominating convention in July.
“This is a national security issue and every American deserves answers about potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and the Kremlin," he said.
Putin in the interview denounced what he called the use of “the anti-Russian card” by both candidates, saying it is “shortsighted.”
Based on reporting by Reuters and Bloomberg News