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


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."

See Clinton and Putin's body language when they're together:

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."

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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.