Megyn Kelly drills Vladimir Putin on presidential election hack, Russia’s ties with Trump (Video)


Former Fox News Channel star Megyn Kelly launched her latest NBC News show with a bang on Sunday by securing a one-on-one interview with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

In her introduction on "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly," the host described the "testy exchanges" that occurred at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where Kelly moderated a panel that included Putin and other world leaders.

Predictably, Kelly asked the president about the hacking accusations and Russia suspected interference in the presidential election, pointing out that "hundreds of factors point to Russia," including IP addresses and fingerprints.

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Megyn Kelly through the years
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Megyn Kelly through the years
Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) talk to journalist Megyn Kelly (R) on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) at the Constantine (Konstantinovsky) Palace, Russia, June 1, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 2, 2017: NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly moderates the plenary session of the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) held at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Megyn Kelly attends the 2017 NBCUniversal Upfront at Radio City Music Hall on May 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Megyn Kelly attends 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between' Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Megyn Kelly attends the 2017 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
Fox News host Megyn Kelly greets the crowd before interviewing Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, at Calvary Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. (Travis Long/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Megyn Kelly (C), Darth Vader and Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion attend New York Philharmonic's Spring Gala, A John Williams Celebration at David Geffen Hall on May 24, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for New York Philharmonic)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 07: Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly attends the 142nd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 07, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Joey Foley/FilmMagic)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0470 -- Pictured: Journalist Megyn Kelly during an interview on May 12, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Megyn Kelly attends the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Douglas Brunt and Megyn Kelly attend the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
MEGYN KELLY presents: Megyn Kelly (R) and Donald Trump (L) during the FOX special 'MEGYN KELLY presents' airing Tuesday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY presents: Megyn Kelly (R) interviews Michael Douglas (L) during the FOX Special MEGYN KELLY presents airing Tuesday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Journalist Megyn Kelly attends Variety's Power Of Women: New York 2016 at Cipriani Midtown on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 06: Megyn Kelly attends the 7th Annual Women in the World Summit Opening Night at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly waits to begin the Republican presidential candidate debate at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Candidates from both parties are crisscrossing Iowa, an agricultural state of about 3 million people in the U.S. heartland that will hold the first votes of the 2016 election on Feb. 1. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 28: Moderators Chris Wallace (L) pats on the shoulder of Megyn Kelly (2nd L) as they wait with Bret Baier (R) for the beginning of the Fox News - Google GOP Debate January 28, 2016 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Residents of Iowa will vote for the Republican nominee at the caucuses on February 1. Donald Trump, who is leading most polls in the state, decided not to participate in the debate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Megyn Kelly appears on ABCs 'Good Morning America,' Friday, February 5, 2016. 'Good Morning America' airs Monday Friday (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MEGYN KELLY
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0411 -- Pictured: (l-r) Journalist Megyn Kelly during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on February 4, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Megyn Kelly appears on ABCs 'Good Morning America,' Friday, February 5, 2016. 'Good Morning America' airs Monday Friday (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MEGYN KELLY
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: News anchor Megyn Kelly speaks onstage during Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit - Day 2 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: TV personality Megyn Kelly attends the 2015 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Megyn Kelly attends the 2014 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 080 -- Pictured: (l-r) Political commentator Megyn Kelly during an interview with host Seth Meyers on July 31, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Megyn Kelly attends at the benefit concert for Army SPC Bryan Dilberain at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on April 27, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Kid Rock with host Megyn Kelly visits FOX's 'America Live' at FOX Studios on June 19, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Fox anchor Megyn Kelly prepares for the Fox News/Google GOP Debate at the Orange County Convention Center on September 22, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. The debate features the nine Republican candidates two days before the Florida straw poll. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Megyn Kelly, host of America Live on set at Fox News studios in New York. Fox News Channel celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air on October 7th.
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"What fingerprints or hoof-prints or horn-prints, what are you talking about?" Putin responded as the conversation quickly became heated. "IP addresses? They can be invented, you know? There are a lot of specialists who can even make it so it comes from your home IP address as if your three-year old daughter carried out the attack."

The combative tone continued in the subsequent sit-down interview. "This week you floated the idea of patriotic hackers doing it. Why the change and why now?" Kelly asked, in a transcript obtained by TheWrap from NBC News.

"I hadn't said anything. It's just that French journalists asked me about those hackers. I told them the same thing I can tell you. Hackers can be anywhere. They can be in Russia, in Asia ... even in America, Latin America," Putin replied. "They can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very skillfully and professionally, shifted the blame, as we say, on to Russia. Could you accept that?

"In the midst of a political battle, by some calculations, it was convenient for them to release this information, so they released it, calling out Russia. Can you imagine something like that? I can," he continued.

The Russian leader went on to refer to JFK's assassination and the conspiracy theory that it was carried out by U.S. intelligence.

"So, if this theory is correct and that can't be ruled out, then what could be easier, in this day and age, than using all the technical means at the disposal of the intelligence services, and using those means to organize some attacks," Putin said. "And then pointing the finger at Russia."

He went on to say that America interferes with elections in many other countries. "Put your finger anywhere on a map of the world, and everywhere you will hear complaints that American officials are interfering in internal electoral processes," he said.

See photos of Vladimir Putin:

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Vladimir Putin throughout the years
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Vladimir Putin throughout the years
P362575 05: A class photo with Vladimir Putin, (fourth row, second from left) dated 1966 in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Laski Diffusion)
368975 01: (AMERICAS ONLY) FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, poses for a photograph in this file photo with his parents Maria and Vladimir Putin in1985 just before his departure to Germany. Putin was sworn in as Russia''s second democratically elected president May 7, 2000, pledging to restore Russia as a great power. (Photo by Laski Diffusion/Newsmakers)
ITAR-TASS: LENINGRAD, USSR. Vladimir Putin seen with his wife Lyudmila and daughter Maria. File photo from family archive was taken in spring 1985. (Photo ITAR-TASS) (Photo by TASS via Getty Images)
St, petersburg mayor anatoly sobchak and austrian chancellor's wife christine vranitzky during a ceremony to name 'austria square' in downtown st, petersburg, austria has pledged to restore the square, future president of russia, vladimir putin, looks on, far left, september 1992. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)
President George Bush meets with President Vladimir Putin at the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg. Bush was meeting with Putin to thank him for signing the UN resolution demanding disarmament of Iraq. (Photo by ?? Brooks Kraft/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
KRASNODAR, RUSSIA: Russian acting President Vladimir Putin (L) talks to a boy (R) during his visit to the Children's regional clinic hospital in Krasnodar 11 February 2000. Putin arrived in Krasnodar for a two-day visit to take a part in the All Russia Conference on emergency measures to stabilise and develop the Russian agro-industrial complex. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) (Photo credit should read SERGEI CHIRIKOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Uzbek president islam karimov helping rf president vladimir putin put on a traditional robe, uzbekistan, december 1999. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)
President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura greet President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila outside of the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg. Bush was meeting with Putin to thank him for signing the UN resolution demanding disarmament of Iraq. (Photo by ?? Brooks Kraft/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY4: Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar (L) pose with their wives Ludmila Putin (2nd L) and Ana Botella before their lunch at Moncloa Palace June 14. Putin said he had no reason to believe the arrest of media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky was politically motivated but vowed to examine the case, which has stirred stormy protest in Moscow. (Photo credit should read SERGEI KARPUKHIN/AFP/Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Vladimir Putin - Politician, Mayor St. Petersburg, Russia - signs an agreement about the marketing of inventions. Second Mayor and Senator of Economics of Hamburg Hans-Juergen Krupp (right) (Photo by Ambor/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Moscow, russia, outgoing russian president boris yeltsin (r) shaking hands with russian prime minister and acting president vladimir putin (l) as he leaves moscow's kremlin, the seat of russian power,1999. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)
Russian prime minister vladimir putin seen casting his vote during the elections to the state duma, at the polling station #2026 in moscow's kosygina street,moscow, russia, december 19, 1999. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)
N362234 01: (FILE PHOTO) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov on August 16, 1999. President Boris Yeltsin announced on national television Friday, Dec. 31, 1999 that he had resigned and presidential elections will be held within 90 days to replace him. Yeltsin said he was stepping down immediately because he wanted Putin to succeed him. Putin, the country's most popular politician, immediately took control of the government and will serve as acting president until the elections. (photo by Laski Diffusion/Liaison Agency)
SEVEROMORSK, RUSSIA - APRIL 7: Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin watches the tactical exercises of Russia's Northern Fleet in the Barentsevo Sea, 06 April 2000. Vladimir Putin spent the night underwater in a nuclear submarine near the Arctic Circle. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
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"With respect, that sounds like a justification," Kelly quipped back, but her interview subject claimed it was a statement of fact.

"Presidents come and go, and even the parties in power change, but the main political direction does not change. That's why, in the grand scheme of things, we don't care who's the head of the United States," Putin continued.

"We know more or less what is going to happen. And so in this regard, even if we wanted to, it wouldn't make sense for us to interfere," he added.

He also denied that there were meetings between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

"There were no meetings. When I saw this, my jaw dropped," Putin stated, adding that for him to know what all of his ambassadors are doing around the world is "complete nonsense!"

He said he knows nothing about a proposal from Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, either.

"You created a sensation out of nothing. And out of this sensation, you turned it into a weapon of war against the current president," he told the news anchor. "Well, this is, you know, you're just, you people are so creative over there. Good job. Your lives must be boring."

When asked about his contact with former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Putin replied: "You and I, you and I personally, have a much closer relationship than I had with Mr. Flynn.

"You and I met yesterday evening. You and I have been working together all day today. And now we're meeting again.

"When I came to the event for our company, Russia Today, and sat down at the table, next to me there was a gentleman sitting on one side," he continued. "I made my speech. Then we talked about some other stuff. And I got up and left. And then afterwards I was told, 'You know there was an American gentleman. He was involved in some things. He used to be in the security services' ... that's it. I didn't even really talk to him ... That's the extent of my acquaintance with Mr. Flynn."

The interview ended as it began — on a testy note, with Kelly asking Putin what he thinks of Americans thinking "he runs a country full of corruption, a country in which journalists who are too critical could wind up murdered, a country in which dissidents could wind up in jail or worse."

"Why do you feel you have the right to ask us these kinds of questions? And do it all the time. To moralize and to give us lessons on how to live?" he replied. "We're ready to listen to comments, when it is done constructively, with the goal of establishing a relationship, creating a common environment. But we will absolutely not accept when these sorts of things are used as an instrument of political conflict. I want everyone to know that. That's our message."

Watch a clip from the interview above.

Kelly's "Sunday Night" airs Sundays at 7/6c on NBC.

Read original story Megyn Kelly Drills Vladimir Putin on Presidential Election Hack, Russia's Ties With Trump (Video) At TheWrap


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