Hillary Clinton’s team members met with the Russian ambassador during the election as well as Donald Trump’s, the Kremlin spokesman has alleged, as he set out to dismiss the “hysteria” surrounding Mr Trump’s links to Russia.
The house intelligence committee will hold its first session on Russia on March 20, with the heads of the FBI, national security agency and CIA expected to appear, plus previous intelligence chiefs.
But Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for Vladimir Putin, said on Sunday that America was “self-humiliating” in insisting that Russia hacked its election.
And he defended the actions of their ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, whose meeting with Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s choice of national security adviser, caused Mr Flynn to lose his job. He was fired after just 24 days when it became clear that he had lied about meeting the Russian, and misled the vice president.
“This is his job,” said Mr Peskov, speaking on CNN’s Sunday morning politics show. “He was talking about bilateral relations, about what is going on in the United States, so we have a better understanding in Moscow.
“This is what happens all around the world.”
He said that members of Mrs Clinton’s team had also met with Mr Kislyak, although he did not give specifics.
“Well, if you look at some people connected with Hillary Clinton during her campaign, you would probably see that he had lots of meetings of that kind,” he said. “There are lots of specialists in politology, people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary.”
Mrs Clinton’s team is yet to comment on the allegations.