- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin called allegations of interference in the U.S. presidential election a “fiction” created by Democrats as an excuse for their defeat at the ballot box.

“They simply lost, and they must acknowledge it,” Mr. Putin said in an interview published Tuesday in the French newspaper Le Figaro.

“They want to explain to themselves and prove to others that they had nothing to do with it, their policy was right, they have done everything well, but someone from the outside cheated them. It’s not so,” he said. “People who lost the vote hate to acknowledge that they indeed lost because the person who won was closer to the people and had a better understanding of what people wanted.”

Allegations that Moscow interfered in the election and that the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow have consumed U.S. politics and become a major distraction for President Trump.

Mr. Putin had previously denied Russia interfered in the election.

In the interview, he said Russia wouldn’t waste its time meddling in U.S. elections because it would not change policy.

“Russia has never engaged in that, we don’t need it and it makes no sense to do it,” said Mr. Putin, a former KGB official. “Presidents come and go, but policies don’t change. You know why? Because the power of bureaucracy is very strong.”

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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