(CNSNews.com) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the conclusion of the Special Counsel investigation of President Trump for the first time yesterday, comparing Robert Mueller’s findings to “a mountain giving birth to a mouse.”
During a panel discussion at the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, Putin reiterated Moscow’s position that it did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election or collude with Donald Trump’s campaign.
"We have said from the very beginning that this infamous Mueller commission won’t find anything because nobody knows better than us that Russia didn’t interfere in any elections in the United States,” said Putin.
“Moreover, there was no collusion that Mr. Mueller was trying to find between Trump and Russia,” he said. “We did not know Mr. Trump. Yes, he came to Moscow as a businessman, but that was not an event for us, to be honest.”
“It was complete nonsense meant exclusively for a domestic audience and for use in an internal political battle inside the United States,” said Putin. “So, that it would end like a mountain giving birth to a mouse – that was evident to us beforehand.”
The Russian leader accused Trump’s opponents of “searching for new reasons” to attack the president and causing a political crisis.
“Look what is going on now,” said Putin. “Those groups which are attacking the lawfully elected president are disagreeing with the choice of the American people and seeking to overturn the result. This is a crisis of a political system. We have never seen anything like this in the history of the United States.”
Putin stated that while he had many disagreements with the Trump administration, most notably over the sanctions it imposed on Russia, he hoped to see greater cooperation between Moscow and Washington.
“If Russia and the United States resume a full-fledged equal dialogue on issues of interest for us and the rest of humanity, like arms control, we will be only happy to see that and we are ready for it,” he said.
Attorney General William Barr published a letter on March 24 summarizing the “principal conclusions” of Mueller’s report. In that letter, Barr states, “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
However, the Attorney General also said that Mueller found evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election – something Moscow has vehemently denied.