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Russia Accuses U.S. of Hypocrisy Over 'Absurd' Election Interference Claims

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attend a meeting in Moscow. Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

Russia has dismissed U.S. claims that they have interfered in the U.S. presidential election as “a new level of absurdity,” the RIA Novosti news outlet reported Friday.

The statement comes after the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, accused the Kremlin of repeated interference in elections both at home and abroad. Clapper has been outspoken in his claims that Russian-backed hackers attacked computer systems belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

“There’s a tradition in Russia of interfering with elections, their own and others,” Clapper told U.S. newspaper The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Clapper said that he was concerned that alleged Russian hacks could spread doubt over the U.S. electoral process. It [Russian interference] shouldn’t come as a big shock to people. I think it’s more dramatic maybe because now they have the cyber tools,” he said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quick to dismiss the claims, accusing the U.S. government of hypocrisy.

“This is a new level of absurdity: It’s as if we have fallen through the looking glass," Ryabkov said. “We’re taken aback that that a country who has interfered in the affairs of different countries for decades can so stubbornly and persistently accuse us of any intervention."

Ryabkov also accused European nations of “intervening” in the elections by expressing their preferences for the future U.S. president.

“We really have to congratulate the White House on reaching a new low,” he said.

Some 20,000 DNC emails were leaked in July, as the U.S. Democratic Party met to officially announce their candidate for the presidential elections in November.

The Kremlin has already denied reports that the hack was backed by the Russian state. No official accusation has been made from the White House.

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