Russian officials have dismissed as "fun and games" accusations that the Kremlin was behind a hacking operation in which some 20,000 emails were stolen from the US Democratic National Committee's computer servers.
Wild attempts to play the Russia card are "usual fun and games" during electoral campaigns in the United States, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a briefing on July 26 when asked about claims of Russian involvement in the email leaks that have embarrassed Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
"In general, we still see manic attempts to use the Russian topic in the US electoral campaign," TASS quoted Peskov as saying, adding that the "absurd news was immediately refuted by the family of the presidential candidate".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also laughed off the claims, saying only "I don't want to use swear words" when asked to comment on the issue after talks the same day with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Vientiane, Laos.
On July 22, the trove of stolen emails was released on WikiLeaks, embarrassing some senior Democrats and triggering the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party chairwoman.
Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager, suggested that the hackers may have ties to Russia.
Some media reported that the move was part of Russia's strategy to back up Donald Trump rather than Clinton, who is viewed in Moscow as more of an adversary, and is reportedly even seen by President Vladimir Putin as being behind the protests of 2011.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was quoted as saying that Russia's involvement is not proven and documents published by WikiLeaks are different from those Clinton's campaign said were stolen by Russian hackers. It is not clear how WikiLeaks obtained the data.
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