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Kremlin Spokesman Denies Contact With Trump Before Election

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has backtracked on claims that the Kremlin was in contact with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's campaign before his victory in the Nov. 8 election.

"Trump still hasn't taken office as U.S. president, and the U.S. has a current president, with whom [Russia] works," he told journalists on Monday.

On Nov. 10, in the wake of the flamboyant businessman's victory, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told journalists that his ministry had maintained contacts with Trump's campaign before the election and planned to maintain them in the future. The comment was viewed by many as proof of Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

Shortly thereafter, Peskov appeared to backtrack, claiming that Russia's "experts" and "specialists" on the U.S. and international affairs had been in contact with both the Trump and Clinton campaigns, interactions which he labeled "quite natural, quite normal."

"Of course [our experts] are constantly speaking to their counterparts, including from Mr. Trump's group," Peskov told AP in an interview in New York. Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns denied this.

Now it appears that Peskov has fully backtracked on Ryabkov's earlier statements.

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