Washington: Russian President Vladimir Putin claims of having limited interaction with former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn at a 2015 Moscow dinner, the media reported.
A widely circulated December 2015 photo shows the Putin and Flynn sitting next to each other at the dinner celebrating Russian TV network RT.
“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 said in an NBC News interview on Sunday night.
“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.”
Flynn was paid $45,000 to speak at the Moscow event, and was placed in the “seat of honour” next to the Russian President, according to sources.
The retired Lt. General served as an adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and then served as his 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, reports NBC News.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is now conducting an investigation into Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 Presidential election, including whether there could have been any connection to associates of the Trump campaign.
In the interview, Putin claimed that “a child” could have hacked the US election – and also alleged Russia may have been framed.
Senior US intelligence officials have also told NBC News that they believe Putin was personally involved in the alleged meddling and he personally directed how hacked material was used to try to damage the Democrats.