- The Washington Times - Friday, September 9, 2016

As Democrats slam him for cozying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast by a Russia-backed news outlet it’s “probably unlikely” that the country is trying to meddle in the U.S. election.

Asked about reports that U.S. officials are investigating whether Russia launched a covert operation to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Trump said he’s been hearing and reading about it.

“I think it’s probably unlikely,” Mr. Trumptold Larry King in an interview that was carried by RT America.  “I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out. Who knows? But I think that it’s pretty unlikely. But who knows?”

“If they are doing something, I hope that somebody’s going to be able to find out so they can end it [because] that would not be appropriate at all,” Mr. Trump said.

The interview is billed as an “RT Exclusive” on the website of the outlet, which was formerly known as Russia Today and has ties to the Kremlin.

Mr. King told CNN in an interview Friday that Ora TV is the company that’s actually in charge of his “PoliticKING” show and that RT pays the company to broadcast the show. He said RT has never exerted editorial control over it.

Mr. Trump said he didn’t have any opinion on Mr. Putin’s comments in a recent interview with Bloomberg that the hacking of the Democratic National Committee was a public service.

“I don’t know anything about it. I don’t know who hacked,” Mr. Trump said. “I mean, you tell me who hacked … but I have absolutely no opinion on that. I don’t know. I haven’t heard that statement.”

The Trump campaign told The Associated Press that he recorded the interview for Mr. King’s podcast as a favor to the longtime broadcaster and what Mr. King does with the interview content is up to him.

Ora TV also clarified that Mr. King’s show is produced and owned entirely by Ora Media, LLC., which it says is solely responsible for editorial direction.

Larry King is a part owner in and employee of Ora Media, LLC. and neither he nor his producers are employed by RT America,” the company said in a statement posted on Twitter.

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