Amid massive political churning in the United States ahead of 2020 elections, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday has joked about meddling in the US election. While speaking in a panel of Russian Energy Week, along with OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo and others, he joked that Russia is planning to meddle in the US elections but 'it is a secret.' Putin was asked about concerns Russia might interfere in the 2020 US elections, he replied: "I'll tell you a secret: Yes, we'll definitely do it," Putin said. "Just don't tell anyone," he added. "You know, we have enough of our own problems. We are engaged in resolving internal problems and are primarily focused on this," Putin continued.
Putin was also asked about the controversy surrounding US President Donald Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He said: "Look, I haven't been president all my life, but my previous life taught me that any of my conversations can become public. I always proceed from this." Putin added: "So when there were attempts to launch a scandal regarding my meeting with Trump in Helsinki — we directly told the administration to just publish it. If somebody wants to know something — just publish it, we don't mind. I assure you there was nothing that would have compromised President Trump there," Putin said. "As far as I understand it, they haven't done it out of principle, there are just some things that should not be public."
President Donald Trump’s withholding of military aid from Ukraine and his calls for the country’s new president to investigate the family of a political rival has thrust the East European nation into an American political storm for the second time in three years. Before news broke that an intelligence whistleblower had filed a formal complaint based in part on a conversation between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Ukraine had gained notoriety during the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. He was convicted last year on charges related to his political consulting work in the country. Now, Trump has acknowledged pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who served on the board of directors of an energy company in Ukraine. This prompted a showdown with Congress, as Democrats said they would proceed with a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump.