Russian President Vladimir Putin's top spokesman Dimitry Peskov told George Stephanopoulos Friday that US-Russian relations today were "maybe even worse" than they had been at the height of the Cold War on ABC's "Good Morning America."
When asked by Stephanopoulos if the US and Russia had entered a new Cold war, Peskov replied: "New Cold War? Well, maybe even worse. Maybe even worse taking into account actions of the present presidential administration in Washington."
Peskov then said "of course" relations had hit a low point, but he cited the US expelling 35 diplomats in December after the revelation that Russia had meaningfully meddled in the US's 2016 election — a decision that happened under Obama.
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Peskov later described the move as "occupation of Russian diplomatic property" that was "not friendly."
While US-Russian relations may not have reached Cuban missile crisis-levels, they have deteriorated in several meaningful ways.
Importantly, Russia broke the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, a hallmark agreement between the nuclear superpowers which headed off the outright nuclearization of Europe during the height of the Cold war.
On Thursday Putin denied any involvement in the US election, which Peskov echoed, blaming "fake news" and "slander" for implicating Russia. Peskov said Putin preferred Trump in the 2016 election simply because he seemed "empathetic" towards Russia, and that he expressed interest in getting along with the Kremlin.
Peskov also categorically denied that former US Army general and Trump's first National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, who was caught and subsequently fired for having "unambiguous and highly inappropriate" about possibly easing sanctions on Russia, could have any impact on sanctions.
"Neither ambassador Kislyak nor Gen. Flynn could have been involved in decision making," said Peskov.
Currently, both the House and Senate have open investigations into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian influencers.
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