Russian President Vladimir Putin joked Wednesday that his country would “definitely” be interfering with the 2020 U.S. election.
NBC’s Keir Simmons asked Putin about former special counsel Robert Mueller’s belief that Russia would continue trying to meddle in upcoming elections during an energy forum in Moscow. Putin jokingly responded that his answer was “a secret.”
“I’ll tell you in a secret — yes, we’ll definitely intervene,” Putin said. “It’s a secret so that everybody can laugh and so we’ll go big. But don’t tell anyone, please.”
Simmons spoke to MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson Wednesday about his line of questioning and noted the Moscow crowd received the answer well.
“And another thing, I pressed him on the question of how he would interpret if the administration published rough transcripts of calls between President Putin and President [Donald] Trump the way they have between President Trump and the leader, the new leader of Ukraine,” Simmons told Jackson, adding:
“He seemed pretty relaxed about this, and Hallie, a senior Russian official said to me if they published transcripts of the conversations between President Trump and President Putin, President Putin would look good, Hallie.”
The House of Representatives launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump on Sept. 24 after a whistleblower complaint accused the president of asking Ukrainian officials to look into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. The White House released a transcript of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sept. 25.