Vladimir Putin spokesman: Hillary Clinton associates met with Russian officials during campaign

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As controversy around the Trump campaign's alleged ties with Russia continues to swirl, the longtime spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that people associated with Hillary Clinton had contact with the Russian ambassador as well.

CNN host Fareed Zakaria asked Dmitry Peskov in an interview that aired on Sunday if Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak had meetings with Clinton campaign officials. Peskov responded, "Well, if you look at some people connected with Hillary Clinton during her campaign, you would probably see that he had lots of meetings of that kind ... In no way it should be presented as interference in [the] electoral process."

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the arrival ceremony for the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vladivostok, Russia, September 8, 2012. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upon her arrival at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vladivostok September 8, 2012. REUTERS/Mikhail Metzel/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upon her arrival at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vladivostok September 8, 2012. REUTERS/Mikhail Metzel/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit Leaders' Retreat Two with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) and Vietnam's President Truong Tan Sang in Vladivostok September 9, 2012, REUTERS/Jim Watson/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)
U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton (R) and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meet at the presidential residence Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow, March 19, 2010. Russia on Friday said that Iran was letting the opportunity for dialogue with the international community slip away and warned that the Islamic Republic could face new sanctions. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Nikolsky (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) speaks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) outside Moscow in Novo-Ogarevo on March 19, 2010. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and used the occasion to bemoan Moscow's stalled WTO application and the state of bilateral trade. Russia, the world's largest economy outside the global trade body, has repeatedly accused Washington of hindering its efforts to join the World Trade Organization in talks that have dragged on since 1993. AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / POOL / ALEXEY NIKOLSKY (Photo credit should read ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) during a pull aside before the official dinner for the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vladivostok on September 8, 2012. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the arrival ceremony for the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vladivostok on September 8, 2012. AFP PHOTO/RIA NOVOSTI/POOL/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/GettyImages)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) listens to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Russia's far eastern port city Vladivostok on September 8, 2012. Australian AFP PHOTO / POOL (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL METZEL/AFP/GettyImages)
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Peskov also denied that the Russian government was involved with the Trump campaign; after Zakaria asked directly if there had been inappropriate contact, Peskov responded by saying, "The answer is very simple, no. The fact that Russia is being demonized in that sense comes very strange to us."

When Zakaria asked about the purpose of Kislyak's contact with Trump campaign associates, Peskov said, "He was talking about bilateral relations. He was talking about what is going on in the United States so we have a better understanding in Moscow. This is what is being performed by every ambassador of Russia abroad, every ambassador of the United States abroad, including in Moscow."

SEE ALSO: Study finds likely reason for Hillary Clinton's election loss

The current administration has been dogged by controversy surrounding interactions with Russia before President Trump took office.

Last month, retired General Michael Flynn stepped down as national security adviser over giving Vice President Pence what he called "incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador."

Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation into the 2016 presidential election after it was revealed that he spoke with Kislyak twice during the campaign but failed to disclose the interactions during his Senate confirmation hearing.

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