One of Vladimir Putin’s advisors boasted that Russian hackers might have helped Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
Putin has dismissed claims by U.S. authorities that Russia had interfered with the American election by hacking Clinton and the Democratic National Committee and then dumping their private emails online through WikiLeaks.
But Sergei Markov, a pro-Kremlin political analyst, suggested some Russian involvement had helped Trump win his unlikely White House bid, reported The Guardian.
Markov said Trump’s win made a Russian-U.S. agreement on Syria, where the two powers back opposing sides, more likely, and the Putin advisor said Americans would be less likely to support “the terroristic junta in Ukraine.”
He denied allegations of Russian interference, as American officials have claimed, but admitted “maybe we helped a bit with WikiLeaks.”
The report didn’t offer any additional specifics about that possible assistance.
The FBI has been conducting a preliminary inquiry into Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s business connections to Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs.
America’s European allies have also expressed concern about Trump and his campaign’s apparent ties to Russia, which they fear could imperial the NATO alliance now that he’s been elected.