Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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President Vladimir Putin Thursday accused American politicians of whipping up hysteria about a mythical Russian threat as a ploy to distract voters from their failings in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election.The U.S. government has formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations, while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has accused Republican rival Donald Trump of being a Putin "puppet".Putin said he found it hard to believe that anyone seriously thought Moscow was capable of influencing the Nov. 8 election.Russian state TV and some of his past comments have suggested the Russian leader favors Trump, but Putin said he did not back any candidate in the U.S. election and was ready to work with any new U.S. president and discuss any issue.
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