Kremlin: Trump's wiretap claim 'domestic issue'

2017-03-07 06:35


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Moscow - Claims by President Donald Trump that his phones were wiretapped by his predecessor, Barack Obama, during the 2016 election campaign are a purely domestic matter for the United States, said the spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

The claim came amid revelations about contacts between Trump aides and Russia's ambassador to the US, both during and after an election that US intelligence agencies alleged Russia had meddled in.

Resisting efforts

When asked about Trump's allegations, made without evidence on Twitter, Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the Kremlin "should not be in any way linked to US domestic issues" and "doesn't have the slightest inclination or intention to be associated with these affairs".

In the past, Russian officials have come to Trump's defence, decrying his opponents for resisting efforts to improve relations between Washington and Moscow.

Trump has been dogged for months by questions about his campaign's ties to Russia. Disclosures about contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak cost Michael Flynn his job as national security adviser.

Flynn's resignation became a watershed moment for Russian officials. State media in recent weeks has switched from detailed coverage of Trump to largely ignoring the US turmoil around his perceived ties to Russia.

State media last week largely ignored the questions surrounding Attorney General Jeff Sessions' contacts with Kislyak.

Political risk

Well into the second half of his almost two-hour programme on  Sunday night on the state-controlled Rossiya channel, commentator Dmitry Kiselyov blamed the mainstream US media for not allowing Trump even to talk about improving ties with Russia.

"We're witnessing a massive battle in the US right now: the oligarch media against the US president and his new administration," he said. "He is afraid not just to raise his head and talk about Russia - he's afraid to utter the very word and for the members of his team any mention of Russia is a high political risk."

Kiselyov also suggested that "intransigent radical liberals" who oppose Trump are "plotting a revolution" against the US president.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  barack obama  |  vladimir putin  |  russia  |  us  |  2016 presidential elections

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