Susan Rice, former President Obama’s national security adviser, on Sunday dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“Frankly, he’s lying,” Rice said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“The reality is — as all of our intelligence agencies have come together to affirm with high confidence — the Russian government at the highest levels was behind the very unprecedented effort to meddle in our 2016 presidential election.”
Rice said the country needs to understand how and why that happened.
The country also needs to find out whether there is “any evidence to suggest that there were those on the American side who facilitated that meddling,” she said, referring to allegations that members of President Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow.
Putin last week conceded that “patriotic minded” private Russian hackers unconnected to the government could be behind major hacks that interfered in other nation’s elections.
“If they are patriotically minded, they start making their contributions — which are right, from their point of view — to the fight against those who say bad things about Russia,” Putin said at a press conference, according to the New York Times.
But the Russian president also denied that the Russian state had ever been involved in hacking.
“We don’t engage in that at the state level,” Putin said at a meeting with senior editors of leading international news agencies, according to The Associated Press.