Kremlin Spokesman Says Vladimir Putin “Has Never Had Any Contacts With Trump”

The GOP nominee has repeatedly claimed he knows the Russian president.

Evan Vucci/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

After days of speculation about Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin—generated by the GOP nominee’s own wildly conflicting statements on the subject—the Russian President has finally weighed in: According to Putin’s press secretary, the leader has never met nor spoken to the GOP nominee.

In the past, Trump has boasted of knowing and communicating with Putin. But last week, Trump sharply reversed himself, telling reporters, “I don’t know anything about him.” In an ABC News interview that aired on Sunday, George Stephanopoulos confronted Trump with instances in 2013, 2014, and 2015 when Trump contradicted himself.

On Monday, in response to an inquiry from NBC News, Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, set the record straight on behalf of his boss. “President Putin has never had any contacts with Trump, never spoken to him, including by telephone,” Peskov told the network. “The same goes for all of his staff. We don’t have dealings with them.”

Peskov also added a comment about Trump’s statements that US intervention to help Ukraine take back control of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, could lead to a third world war: “We’re trying not to comment on that, not to get involved in their internal affairs. Regretfully, Russia-bashing is becoming a habit in American elections,” Peskov told NBC.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend