Vladimir Putin: Nobody believed Trump would win ‘except us’
Putin said this while answering a state media journalist at his annual press conference.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said Friday that US President-elect Donald Trump accurately read the popular mood in the United States to win the election, although "nobody except us" believed in his success.
The US president-elect "precisely felt the mood of the society and worked in that precise paradigm, he went to the end, though nobody believed that he would win except us," Putin said while answering a state media journalist at his annual press conference.
Asked what he thought about support among some Americans for him, Putin said "I don’t put it down to me, the fact that a large part of Republican voters support the Russian president."
"It means that a large part of the American people have the same idea of how the world should be, of our common dangers and problems," he said.
"It’s good that there are people that sympathise with us in our concept of traditional values," he said, and it may be a good starting point in "building relations" between the United States and Russia.
Russia and Putin has been accused by Washington of meddling in the US elections but the Kremlin leader broadly dismissed this as attempts by the election losers to save face by blaming outside factors.
Putin suggested that the hackers behind the massive breach of Democratic Party emails did a public service by exposing "true information" which is more important than the nature of the hack.
"The most important thing is the gist of the information that hackers provided to the public," he said.
"What is the best evidence that the hackers unveiled true information?" he said. "That after the hackers showed how public opinion is manipulated inside the Democratic Party… the chief of the Democratic National Committee (Debbie Wasserman Schultz) quit."
"That means she admitted that the hackers showed the truth," he said, but "instead of apologising… they started to shout about who initiated the hack attacks."
"Does that really matter?" Putin asked.
The US Democratic party have lost not just the presidential election, but also in the Senate and Congress, Putin said. "Was that also our doing?"
"They are losing on all fronts and are looking for the guilty party on the side," he said. "That’s beneath their dignity. You have to lose with dignity."