Winston Peters casts doubt on US intelligence following accusations of Russian meddling

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters says he's "cautious" with accusations made by the United States' intelligence agencies.

That comes after US President Donald Trump took Russian President Vladimir Putin's word that Russia did not attempt to influence the US election against Hillary Clinton.

At a news conference following a two-hour sit down meeting with Mr Putin, Mr Trump was asked whether he believes his intelligence agencies or the Russian President.

"President Putin says it's not Russia. I don't see any reason why it would be," Mr Trump answered.

That's despite the US' own intelligence agencies concluding Russia ran a state-sanctioned campaign of false news reports and cyber-attacks aimed at tipping the election in Mr Trump's favour.

But Mr Peters said he's not so confident in the findings.

"I've always been cautious when it comes to intelligence agencies," Mr Peters told RNZ.

"You will recall the second Iraq conflict based on the weapons of mass destruction and the information that the West was fed by, sadly, the US and the UK, only to be proven wrong."

He went on to say that while he "seriously" does suspect the accusations are true, due process must take place before any blame is cast.

"If you believe in the rule of law and you believe in our standard of law then a statement like that is a statement and it should be followed up with a prosecution and to be believed in its entirety [after] a successful prosecution that removes all doubt of guilt. That's the way a society like ours should operate - not just believing what we hear of the media.

"I am waiting for the process to prove the level of guilt."

Mr Peters said "these are extraordinary days" but it's an issue for the US to work out domestically.

"I'm bemused, we're all confused, we're all bewildered, but at the end of the day, this is a decision that the American people - in terms of representation - have to make and only they can make."

The same warning of Russian meddling runs through New Zealand's own defence policy statement - "Russia has challenged international laws and norms through a range of actions, including cyber-enabled information operations," is says, specifically naming the 2016 United States and United Kingdom elections.