Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak was just doing his job "talking about bilateral relations" with Trump campaign officials – and did the same thing with Hillary Clinton associates, Vladimir Putin's spokesman said Sunday.
In an interview with CNN host Fareed Zakaria on "GPS," Dmitry Peskov said the meetings weren't an attempt to interfere in the 2016 election.
"If you look at some people connected with Hillary Clinton during her campaign, you would probably see that he had lots of meetings of that kind," Peskov said, describing the Clinton associates as "people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary."
"But there were no meetings about elections — electoral process … So if you look at it with intention to demonize Russia, you would probably say that, yes, he was trying to interfere in Hillary's activities. But it would be nonsense, because this is not true," he added.
Putin never voiced support for Donald Trump, but likely favored him, he said.
"You would probably recall that President Putin, during election campaign, had never answered directly a question about his candidate of his support," he said. "He kept saying that we will respect a choice of American people."
"The candidate Hillary Clinton was quite negative about our country in her attitude and in her program, declaring Russia being nearly the main evil in the world and the main threat for the United States," he added.
"And to the contrary, the other candidate, Donald Trump, was saying that, 'Yes, we disagree with the Russians ... in lots of issues, but we have to talk to them in order to try to find some understanding.'
"Whom would you like better? The one who says that Russia is evil or the one who says that, 'Yes, we disagree, but let's talk to understand and to try to find some points of agreement?'" he asked.
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