White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on January 28 that a U.S. Treasury official's assessment of Russian President Vladimir Putin as corrupt also "best reflects the views" of President Barack Obama's administration.
Adam Szubin, the U.S. Treasury’s acting secretary for terrorism and financial crimes, said in an interview with BBC Panorama on January 26 that Putin is "a picture of corruption" -- secretly wealthy, corrupt, and focused on enriching his friends and political allies.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded angrily to Szubi's comments, calling them "an official accusation" and "a lie."
Putin has repeatedly said that press reports about his immense wealth, including reports that he was secretly the world's richest man, are nonsense.
The United States has placed sanctions on Russian businessmen loyal to Putin to pressure the Kremlin over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.