Vladimir Putin: US interferes in elections, not Russian Federation

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"We have a lot of Americans who visit us", the Russian leader said.

USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Putin ordered the disruption of the election.

Trump has also disparaged a dossier of unsubstantiated allegations that purported to show Russian intelligence operatives had compromising information about him, but which he has described as a "hoax". The U.S. intelligence agencies who say Moscow was involved "have been misled", Putin said.

Putin, who frequently took a defensive stance throughout the interview, also said reports that Russian Federation has compromising material on Trump were "just another load of nonsense".

According to TV Line, Vladimir Putin told Megyn Kelly that hundreds of representatives from American companies visited Russian Federation, adding "Do you think we're gathering compromising information on all of them right now or something?"

"They have been misled", Putin told Kelly when she told him that American intelligence agencies had concluded that Russian Federation interfered in the election in hopes of election President Donald Trump.

He said he never met Trump on any of his trips to Moscow. But you know, I never met with him. That's why, in the grand scheme of things, we don't care who's the head of the United States.

Putin denied that he had any knowledge of such encounters, at first telling Kelly that there "were no meetings" before clarifying that he had not been informed because there was "nothing to even talk about".

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"No meetings between Ambassador Kislyak and anybody from the Trump campaign?" she asked.

Flynn, too, has denied any deep relationship with Putin, telling the Washington Post past year their entire relationship was "just introduction".

Flynn was sacked by Trump in February after less than a month on the job following claims he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Sergei Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the USA, during the transition period.

Kelly pushed back at the assertion, saying it sounded like Putin's attempt to justify his government's attempts to influence elections.

Lawmakers should get the chance to hear from fired FBI Director James Comey - and President Donald Trump "is better served by getting all this information out".

"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", Mr Putin said. "He used to be in the security services", Putin said.

The interview aired as intelligence committees in both the House and Senate investigate alleged Russian interference in the presidential election.

Putin downplayed Flynn's appearance with him at a December 2015 gala dinner in honour of the Russian television network Russia Today (RT), which U.S. officials consider a state-run propaganda outlet. The public hearing is expected to shed light on his private conversations with Mr Trump in the weeks before his dismissal, including any discussion about the Flynn investigation. A secret line with Russia - which H.R. McMaster said is a normal thing in diplomatic relations with worldwide counterparties - could have allowed the Trump transition team and Russian officials to communicate outside of the scrutiny of the departing Obama administration.