Russia says US allegations that it engaged in hacking during the American presidential election are “unfounded” and amount to nothing more than a “full-scale witch hunt.”
The accusations, which were published in last week’s US intelligence report, claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an “influence campaign” aimed at hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
The campaign — which consisted of hacking Democratic groups and individuals, including Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and releasing that information via third-party websites, including WikiLeaks — amounted to what the intelligence report called “a significant escalation” in longtime Russian efforts to undermine “the US-led liberal democratic order.”
But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the charges against Russia “were not backed by anything” and were “made on a very amateur, emotional level.”
“What we see is … that all of this looks like is a full-scale witch hunt,” he said.
“We understand that our US colleagues, during various stages of their history, have gone through such witch hunts, we remember these stages of history, we know that they are replaced with more sober experts, more sober approaches that are after all aimed at a dialogue, not at emotional fits,” Peskov added.
“Categorically reject” any involvement by Moscow
“We still don’t know what data have been used by those who come up with these unfounded accusations,” Peskov told reporters during a conference call.
“We still categorically reject any involvement of Moscow, any involvement of official and unofficial persons in the Russian Federation in the hacker attacks,” he said.
The report was the first official, full and public accounting by the US intelligence community of its assessment of Russian cyberhacking activities during the 2016 campaign and the motivations behind that hacking.