Vladimir Putin on dinner with Michael Flynn: 'I didn’t even really talk to him'

Michael who?

Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that he had limited personal interaction with former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, when asked by NBC's Megyn Kelly in an exclusive interview about the nature of their relationship — and a widely circulated December, 2015 photo that shows the two sitting next to each other at dinner during an event to celebrate Russian TV network RT (Russia Today).

"You and I, you and I personally, have a much closer relationship than I had with Mr. Flynn," Putin told Kelly in Russian, translated to English. "You and I met yesterday evening. You and I have been working together all day today. And now we're meeting again.

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Megyn Kelly interviews Vladimir Putin at St. Petersburg forum
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.
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)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA JUNE 2, 2017: NBC News Anchor Megyn Kelly, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern, and Moldova's President Igor Dodon (L-R) at the plenary session at the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA JUNE 2, 2017: NBC News Anchor Megyn Kelly, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern, and Moldova's President Igor Dodon (L-R) at the plenary session at the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 2, 2017: NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly moderates the plenary meeting at the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) held at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Valery Sharifulin/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Vladimir Smirnov\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 2, 2017: Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern, Moldova's President Igor Dodon, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly (L-R) attend the plenary meeting 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)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 2, 2017: US journalist and TV commentator Megyn Kelly, India's prime minister Narendra Modi, Russia's president Vladimir Putin, Austria's chancellor Christian Kern, andMoldova's president Igor Dodon (L-R) at a plenary session on Day 2 of the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017). Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 2, 2017: US journalist and TV commentator Megyn Kelly, India's prime minister Narendra Modi, and Russia's president Vladimir Putin (L-R) at a plenary session on Day 2 of the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017). Vladimir Smirnov/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Vladimir Smirnov\TASS via Getty Images)
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"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," Putin 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."

Putin made the comments during an exclusive interview that will air on June 4th at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT during the premiere of "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" on NBC.

Retired Lt. Gen. Flynn served as an adviser to Trump's presidential campaign, and then served as President Donald Trump's national security adviser in the White House for less than a month before he was fired for what the administration said was lying about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to Vice President Mike Pence.

Flynn was paid $45,000 to speak at the gala, and was placed in the "seat of honor" next to the Russian president.

"It is not coincidence that Flynn was placed next to President Putin," Michael McFaul, U.S. ambassador in Moscow from 2012 to 2014 and now an NBC News analyst said in April. "Flynn was considered a close Trump adviser. Why else would they want him there?"

Flynn told the Washington Post in August, 2016 that he did not ask to sit next to Putin or worry about the optics. "I was one of the guests there," he told the newspaper. "Some interesting characters. I found it a great learning opportunity. One of the things I learned was that Putin has no respect for the United States leadership. Not for the United States, but the leadership."

The FBI is now conducting an investigation, led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, into Russian attempts to interfere in the last U.S. presidential election, including whether there could have been any connection to associates of the Trump campaign.

NBC News has reported that Flynn is considered a formal "subject" of the Russia probe, which includes a deep look at his business interests, though no evidence has surfaced into the current public sphere that links him to the election meddling effort and his lawyers say he did nothing wrong.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials have also told NBC News that they believe Putin was personally involved in the Russian effort to interfere with the U.S. election and that the Russian president personally directed how hacked material was used to try to damage Democrats.

Elsewhere in his interview with Kelly, Putin claimed that "a child" could have hacked the U.S. election — and also alleged Russia may have been framed.

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