The prospect of improving relations between the United States and Russia is likely to be affected due to Washington’s claims that the latter hacked the 2016 presidential election, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a CNN interview that aired Sunday. Russia has been accused of interfering in the election by leaking documents related to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to undermine her credibility and to help Republican Donald Trump ahead of Election Day.
During the interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Peskov maintained the Russian government did not have any sort of collaboration with Trump and his campaign during the election. The Trump administration has come under the scanner after reports said his team was in touch with Moscow during the time.
“The answer is very simple. No,” Peskov said. “And the fact that Russia is being demonized in that sense comes very strange to us. And we are really sorry about that, because this — the whole situation takes us away from the perspective of getting our relationship to a better condition.”
Peskov also said the U.S. is humiliating itself over the Russia hacking claims and that Moscow suddenly became a “nightmare” to Washington.
“We sincerely cannot understand why American people and American politicians started the process of self-humiliation. You’re self-humiliating yourself, saying that a country can intervene in your election process,” he said.
According to Peskov, it would be “simply impossible” for Russia to interfere an election in “the most powerful country in the world.”
“America a huge country, a country number one, the most powerful country in the world, with a very, very stable political tradition and you say that a country can easily intervene and easily influence your electoral process. This is simply impossible,” he said.
In recent weeks, there have been reports accusing several Trump team members — including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Attorney General Jeff Sessions — of having contact with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian envoy to the U.S., in the run-up to the election. However, Peskov said Kislyak was merely doing his job and only discussed bilateral relations with the U.S. officials.
“This is his job. He was talking about bilateral relations,” Peskov said in the interview. “He was talking about what is going on in the United States, so we have a better understanding in Moscow. This is what is being performed by every ambassador of Russia abroad, every ambassador of the United States abroad, including in Moscow.”
Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump spoke about establishing better relations with Russia to fight terrorism. The move has been welcomed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump has also called reports about his administration having close ties to Moscow “fake news.”