MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin says the claims of Russia's interference in the U.S. presidential election are designed to distract public attention from real issues.
The United States has accused Russia of coordinating the hacks of Hillary Clinton's campaign emails to influence the outcome of the election.
Speaking Thursday to international foreign policy experts in Sochi, Putin dismissed "the hysteria about Russia's influence on the U.S. presidential election."
He argued that U.S. elites have used the "mythical and fictitious" issue to distract attention from real problems such as government debt and police violence.
Putin disputed that the U.S. is "some kind of 'banana republic'" that could be susceptible to Russia's influence, calling America "a great power."
He also said it's equally "ridiculous" to allege that Russia has aggressive military intentions.