MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin took a parting shot at the Obama administration Tuesday, accusing it of trying to undermine Donald Trump’s legitimacy with fake allegations and “binding the president-elect hand and foot to prevent him from fulfilling his election promises.”

In his first public remarks about an unsubstantiated dossier outlining unverified claims that Trump engaged in sexual activities with prostitutes at a Moscow hotel, Putin dismissed the material as “nonsense.”

“People who order such fakes against the U.S. president-elect, fabricate them and use them in political struggle are worse than prostitutes,” Putin said. “They have no moral restrictions whatsoever, and it highlights a significant degree of degradation of political elites in the West, including in the United States.”

Separately, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the dossier, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, was a “rude provocation.” The diplomat contemptuously called its author a “runaway swindler from MI6,” Britain’s foreign intelligence agency. Trump has rejected the sexual allegations as “fake news” and “phony stuff.”

The statements by Putin and Lavrov reflected the Kremlin’s deep anger at President Barack Obama’s administration in a culmination of tensions that have built up over the crisis in Ukraine, the war in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

Putin said the allegations were part of efforts by the Obama administration to “undermine the legitimacy of the president-elect” despite his “convincing” victory.

Asked about Putin’s remarks, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said it “was not the first time the intelligence community has had some uncomfortable things to say about Russia.”

“These are the kind of things I’m sure the Russians would rather not ... hear, but ultimately, and this is something that the next administration is going to have to decide, there’s a pretty stark divide here,” he added.

Putin voiced hope that “common sense will prevail” and Russia and the United States will be able to normalize relations once Trump takes office Friday.

“I don’t know Mr. Trump,” Putin said. “I have never met him and I don’t know what he will do on the international arena. I have no reason whatsoever to assail him, criticize him for something, or defend him.”

Putin ridiculed those behind the dossier for alleging Russian spy agencies collected compromising material on Trump when he visited Moscow in 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant.

“He wasn’t a politician. We didn’t even know about his political ambitions,” Putin said at a news conference. “Do they think that our special services are hunting for every U.S. billionaire?”

Putin also sarcastically suggested that Trump, who met the world’s most beautiful women at the pageant, had a better choice for female companionship than Moscow prostitutes, even though Putin claimed “they are also the best in the world.”

He said Trump’s foes are ready to go as far as to “stage a Maidan in Washington to prevent Trump from entering office” — a reference to the alleged U.S. role in organizing protests in the Ukrainian capital’s main square, Maidan, that forced the nation’s Russia-friendly president from power in 2014.

“People who are doing that are inflicting colossal damage to the interests of the United States,” Putin said. “How can you do anything to improve U.S.-Russian relations when they launch such canards as hackers’ interference in the election?”

At a separate news conference, Lavrov also said Moscow hopes for better relations with Washington once Trump takes office.

Russia and the United States can reach common ground on nuclear arms control and other issues if each country proceeds from its national interests and shows respect for the other side, Lavrov said.

He voiced hope that Trump’s team will consist of pragmatic people “who will not engage in moralizing and will try to understand the interests of their partners just as they clearly uphold their own interests.”

Lavrov denounced the foreign policy of the Obama administration and its allies as “messianic” attempts to impose Western values on the rest of the world, which has led to instability and conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere.

He said Moscow is inviting representatives of the Trump administration to talks Monday on Syria in Kazakhstan — discussions brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran. He voiced hope that Russian and U.S. experts could discuss fighting terrorism in Syria.

Asked about Trump’s recent remarks in which he indicated he could end sanctions on Russia for its 2014 annexation of Crimea in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal, Lavrov said Moscow was ready to hold nuclear arms talks with Washington.

Lavrov noted he didn’t see Trump’s words as an offer to cut arms in exchange for canceling the sanctions, rather as an expression of readiness to look at reviewing the sanctions while engaging in negotiations on arms control, among other issues.

Like Putin, Lavrov rejected allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election as “absurdities” and “fakes” intended to hurt Trump.

He said U.S. intelligence agencies have failed to produce any evidence to back those claims, adding that officials who engaged in the effort “deserve to be fired, as they receive their salaries for nothing.”

Lavrov described the allegations of Russian election meddling in the U.S. vote as the final “spasms of those who realize that their time is coming to an end.”

“The time of foreign policy demagogues is over, and, feeling hurt, they fabricate all kinds of fakes,” he said. “First, officials leak fakes to the media, then media start spinning them and, finally, officials comment on them as facts.”

Lavrov also accused U.S. officials of repeated attempts to recruit Russian diplomats in the U.S. as spies, including a deputy chief of mission.

In her final speech as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power accused Russia of pursuing a policy of “deny and lie” to raise doubts about its actions in Syria and Ukraine, to undermine international institutions and, citing U.S. intelligence analysis, repeated allegations that Moscow used a well-crafted, multipronged attack to disrupt the U.S. election through hacking and misinformation.

“I know some have said that this focus on Russia is simply the party that lost the recent presidential election being ‘sore losers,’” Power told the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank, “but it should worry every American that a foreign government interfered in our democratic process.”

She said the U.S. must reassure its allies that Russia will pay a price for interfering in other nations’ sovereign affairs, and that means maintaining sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine as well as meddling in U.S. politics.

(16) comments

Comment deleted.
b1sellers

And hello to putin right.

bosco

This must be how it feels to the locals when the U.S. meddles in other countries' business all over the world.

teapartier

You can thank the inaction of the Obama Administration and the DNC for not taking proper cybersecurity measures which allowed the hacking.

CDReid

Yep, but for some reason we haven't heard that thought from either the main stream media or the local libs.

bosco

They didn't take hacking seriously or complain about it during the previous eight years when government computer systems were being hacked and information stolen, but suddenly the DNC's email system is hacked through an email account protected by a password called "password" and they have their knickers in a twist.

CDReid

Russia tried to hack the RNC, and got no current data. The only got "“limited penetration of old R.N.C.” computer systems that were “no longer in use” according to FBI Director Comey. They got all kinds of data from the DNC, apparently enough to inform the American voters of the flaws in the Democrat party and system and, thanks to the Dems, Mr. Trump won the election. So, thank you DNC. [thumbup][thumbup][lol]

armillary

No means no, except for Trump and his Russian comrades.

teapartier

Obama-"Cut it out" and better not cross my "red line" or else!
Comrades- Do you think he really means it,should we be scared?
Putin- No, I heard this speech before, the rest of the world is not scared of him why should we.

CDReid

Yeah, Assad sure backed off when Obama drew that "red line." This from Politico 10.16.16 "Russian President Vladimir Putin gave him [Obama] an escape hatch. Putin offered to force his ally, Assad, to surrender his chemical arsenal if Obama promised not to bomb........ Obama accepted the Russian proposal a few days later; there would be no U.S. airstrikes. But Obama traded a military conflict for a political one. On the right, the phrase “red line” has become mocking shorthand for weakness and indecision." Hey Barry, how'd that crow taste? [lol][lol][lol]

hayduke2

And please give the exact details that allow you to claim that the Obama Administration did not take the proper precautions? You can't possibly know how many attempts were stopped, what they have in place, etc.

teapartier

You want evidence? how how about during his 12/16/2016 press conference he said he did not retaliate against Moscow because "he feared undermining public confidence in the integrity of the vote". Also he described a series of difficult decisions he faced in the midst of a heated campaign, including how much to disclose to the public and whether to hit back at Putin, the Russian president who Obama strongly suggested was behind the cyberattack. They did nothing and now that they lost , it's time to "Spin it". You should be well aware of it. Deflect the fact that the Podesta/Obma did not take basic precautionary measures to safeguard his information. That looks bad, so lets "spin it" to say that Trump and Putin conspired to disrupt the election process. Not a word of what security measures were taken after Obama stated his "cut it out" threat. Your defending the fact that the Russians are smarter then Podesta/DNC and Obama administration concerning cybersecurity.

hayduke2

Oh, you mean when he didn't want to appear to try to influence the election. And you know what steps were taken because you are setting in the meetings, carrying out countermeasures, etc. Come on tea, this is all supposition on your part just showing your partisanship....

hayduke2

Wow, why would anyone ever question what Putin says... His own record is so outstanding....

b1sellers

I would never take advice or the word of the Russian fascist putin. Why would any true American care what he has to say about this. I will listen to American security people and will believe them way before I would believe putin - he is not our friend and never will be.

armillary


Trump's ties to Russia are outed
their prostitutes Putin has touted
the KGB's word
is all Donald's heard
but CIA studies he's doubted.

newspostreader

Putin has no business in any of our business. You run Russia and stay out of the United States. This man is bad news for us if we keep allowing him to get involved.

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