Russian President Vladimir Putin says he will “never” extradite a group of Russian nationals indicted in February by special counsel Robert Mueller for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Putin also denied that the Russian government was involved in election meddling, in an interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly that aired Sunday,
Kelly asked Putin about Mueller’s indictments of 13 Russian nationals who are accused of using fake personas to plant political ads and promote political rallies on American social media sites. Mueller issued indictments for the operatives as well as three companies involved in the effort.
“I know that they do not represent the Russian state, the Russian authorities,” Putin told Kelly.
“What they did specifically, I have no idea. I do not know what they were guided by.”
Putin called for American authorities to provide the Russian government with evidence linking the propaganda campaign to the Kremlin.
“Let them provide some materials, specifics and data. We’ll be prepared to look at them and talk about it,” he said.
But when Kelly asked whether Putin would extradite the accused if evidence backs up the Mueller indictment, Putin said he would not.
“Never. Never. Russia does not extradite its citizens to anyone, just like the United States. Does the United States extradite its citizens to anyone?” he asked.