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Putin Says Hackers Of U.S. Election Could Have Been Anywhere, Including U.S.

Vladimir Putin speaks at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 2.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview released on June 2 dismissed the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies and said hackers trying to influence last year's U.S. election could have been located anywhere.

"Hackers can be anywhere. They can be in Russia, in Asia...even in America, Latin America," he told NBC News in an excerpt from an interview to be broadcast on June 4.

"They can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States, who very skillfully and professionally shifted the blame...onto Russia.

"By some calculations it was convenient for them to release this information, so they released it, citing Russia. Could you imagine something like that? I can."

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic e-mails and an influence campaign to tilt last year's election toward Republican Donald Trump, who said he would boost ties with Moscow as president.

Putin strongly denied any Russian meddling at an economic forum in St. Petersburg on June 2.

"This useless and harmful chatter needs to stop," he said. "This is a transferal, I repeat, of internal political squabbling in the United States onto the international arena."

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS