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Vladimir Putin suggests to Megyn Kelly that U.S. hackers may have framed Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with representatives of foreign companies and business associations at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Savostyanov/TASS/Host Photo

LOS ANGELES - Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an exclusive interview with Megyn Kelly for the debut of her new NBC primetime show, suggested that hackers in the United States could have "shifted the blame" to Russia "in the midst of a big political battle."

He seemed to be referring to the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia tried to interfere in last year's presidential election via hacking of the Democratic National Committee and a top Clinton campaign official.

"Hackers can be anywhere," Putin told Kelly. "They can be in Russia, in Asia ... even in America, Latin America. They can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States, who very skillfully and professionally, shifted the blame, as we say, on to Russia. Can you imagine something like that? In the midst of a political battle. By some calculations it was convenient for them to release this information, so they released it, citing Russia. Could you imagine something like that? I can."

The clip aired on "NBC Nightly News" on Friday, and the full interview will air on Sunday on the premiere episode of "Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly."

Kelly moderated a forum a forum earlier in the day in St. Petersburg in which Putin joked that Kelly's "underage daughter" could have been responsible for the hacking.

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