Putin says Mueller's probe validates Russian Federation on no collusion

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands after their joint news conference in Sochi Russia Sept. 17 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands after their joint news conference in Sochi Russia Sept. 17 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday commented for the first time on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's completed report into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, saying Moscow had always said it would find nothing.

"We said from the very start that this notorious commission of Mr. Mueller wouldn't find anything because we know this better than anyone", Putin said Tuesday at the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg.

This comes after U.S. Attorney General William Barr reported that a summary of Robert Mueller's probe found no evidence of collusion. "A mountain gave birth to a mouse".

"It was clear for us from the start that it would end like this", the Russian leader said of the Trump-Russia investigation.

However, Mueller's long investigation uncovered a multi-pronged operation to interfere with the 2016 vote and indicted 25 Russians on charges of hacking Democratic email accounts and spreading disinformation on social media. Yes, he came to Moscow, but as a businessman.

"I would like transactions in national currencies [with Russia] to be in place soon, so that we are able to protect ourselves from manipulations in currency markets", Erdogan said at a meeting with Russian and Turkish businesspeople in Moscow, which was also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation was behind hacking aimed at damaging Democratic Party contender Hillary Clinton and boosting Trump's chances of winning the election. Russian Federation did not meddle in any elections in the United States.

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Putin says he thinks their attacks on Trump are a disrespect to voters and reflect a crisis of the USA political system.

"Look what is going on now".

Witch hunts are "a black page" in US history and "I would not like it ever to happen again", Putin said.

"We respect the wishes of the American people", he said. "His administration has introduced numerous sanctions against Russian Federation, something we disagree with and will never accept".

The Russian leader said he hopes partisan fighting in Washington eases so the US and Russia can focus on issues of mutual interest, such as nuclear arms control, fighting terrorism and climate change.

While Putin said when the two leaders met in Helsinki a year ago that he'd wanted Trump to win the 2016 election because of his pledge to improve relations, he sidestepped a question on whether he supports the USA president's re-election in 2020.

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