Putin Scoffs at US Indictment of Russians in Campaign Probe
President Vladimir Putin has ridiculed the U.S. indictment of 13 Russians, scoffing at the notion that a person described as his chef could interfere with the U.S. presidential election.
MOSCOW (AP) — PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin ridiculed the U.S. indictment of 13 Russians in a television interview broadcast Monday, scoffing at the notion that a person described as his chef could interfere with a U.S. presidential election.
Special counsel Robert Mueller in February charged Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman dubbed “Putin’s chef,” and 12 others in an alleged conspiracy to meddle in the 2016 election.
Putin dismissed the charges as “ridiculous” during an interview with Austrian public broadcaster ORF broadcast late Monday.
“How low the Western information and political environment has fallen if a restaurateur from Russia could influence elections in the United States or a European country,” the Russia leader said.
The 13 people indicted are accused of an elaborate plot to disrupt the U.S. election that allegedly included running a huge social media campaign from their headquarters in St. Petersburg, dubbed the “‘troll farm.”
Prigozhin has been dubbed “Putin’s chef” by Russian media because his restaurants and catering businesses have hosted the Kremlin leader’s dinners with foreign dignitaries.