By Chris White
Russian President Vladimir Putin is floating the theory that Jews with Russian citizenship were responsible for meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
“Maybe they are not even Russians but Ukrainians, Tatars or Jews, but with Russian citizenship, which should also be checked,” Putin told NBC’s Megyn Kelly on Friday. He is expected to be re-elected in 2018 for a second consecutive term.
Putin also suggested the U.S. put Russian dissidents up to the meddling.
“[M]aybe they have dual citizenship of a green card; maybe the U.S. paid them for this. How can you know that? I do not know either,” he said, adding that it doesn’t really matter to him, “because they (the meddlers) do not represent the government.”
Putin also dismissed the idea that his government was involved in the U.S. election.
“First, we have principles whereby we do not allow others to interfere in our domestic affairs and do not get into the affairs of others….Secondly, we don’t have this quantity of tools,” he said. Recent reports have drawn connections between Putin and members of his inner circle.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the widely referred to as Putin’s cook, was among the 13 Russian nationals special counsel Robert Mueller indicted in February for orchestrating a Russian troll farm responsible for using social media memes on American voters.
Prigozhin, a Russian businessman and oligarch, has ties to Putin that go back to at least 2001, according to some reports. A Feb. 22 report from The Washington Post suggested he also approved a Russian mercenary attack in February on U.S. forces stationed in eastern Syria.