Kremlin Spokesman Says Vladimir Putin “Has Never Had Any Contacts With Trump”

The GOP nominee has repeatedly claimed he knows the Russian president.

Evan Vucci/AP

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After days of speculation about Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin—generated by the GOP nominee’s own wildly conflicting statements on the subject—the Russian President has finally weighed in: According to Putin’s press secretary, the leader has never met nor spoken to the GOP nominee.

In the past, Trump has boasted of knowing and communicating with Putin. But last week, Trump sharply reversed himself, telling reporters, “I don’t know anything about him.” In an ABC News interview that aired on Sunday, George Stephanopoulos confronted Trump with instances in 2013, 2014, and 2015 when Trump contradicted himself.

On Monday, in response to an inquiry from NBC News, Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, set the record straight on behalf of his boss. “President Putin has never had any contacts with Trump, never spoken to him, including by telephone,” Peskov told the network. “The same goes for all of his staff. We don’t have dealings with them.”

Peskov also added a comment about Trump’s statements that US intervention to help Ukraine take back control of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, could lead to a third world war: “We’re trying not to comment on that, not to get involved in their internal affairs. Regretfully, Russia-bashing is becoming a habit in American elections,” Peskov told NBC.
 

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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