Putin suggests 'Jews' may have meddled with US election

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin Photo credit: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested Jews might be behind the meddling in the US elections.

The general consensus amongst intelligence agencies is that Russia ran an interference campaign in 2016, using internet advertising and 'troll' accounts to sow division amongst American voters.

The goal, it's believed, was to assist the election of Donald Trump, and an investigation is underway to find out if the property magnate's campaign colluded with offshore groups.

Mr Putin has always denied Russia's involvement. In a new interview with NBC, the former KGB spy admitted for the first time a campaign may have been run from Russian soil, but denied it was orchestrated by the government.

"Maybe they're not even Russians," he told host Megyn Kelly. "Maybe they're Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship. Even that needs to be checked. Maybe they have dual citizenship. Or maybe a green card. Maybe it was the Americans who paid them for this work. How do you know? I don't know."

Various reports have found it was the other way around - Russians, many based in a single building in St Petersburg, paid Americans to organise protests.

Mr Putin said if it was Russians who did it, he "couldn't care less".

"There are 146 million Russians. So what? They do not represent the interests of the Russian state."

Mr Trump has denied his team had any coordination with Russians during the 2016 election campaign.

In an interview with Newshub Nation on Saturday, New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said there was "no evidence" Russia meddled in the US election, or was involved in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.

"We have a lot of allegations, but we do not have the facts laid out clearly," said Mr Peters.

Newshub.