Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin acknowledged today that “patriotically minded” Russian hackers may have been responsible for the breach of the network of the Democratic National Committee and the e-mail accounts of members of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, as well as other attempts to interfere in the US presidential elections of 2016 to aid the campaign of Donald Trump.
The admission, which Putin made during comments at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, was a reversal of previous Kremlin denials of any Russian involvement in the information operations against Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. Putin continued to deny state involvement in the attacks, instead suggesting that the attacks were staged by Russians acting independently. “If they are patriotically minded, they start making their contributions—which are right, from their point of view—to the fight against those who say bad things about Russia,” he said.
Radio Free Europe posted an excerpt from the interview on Twitter: