January 29, 2016 / 9:50 AM / in 2 years

U.S. seeks to influence Russia election with graft allegations: Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Statements by U.S. officials alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin is corrupt are outrageous and insulting, the Kremlin said on Friday, adding that they were an attempt to influence Russia’s next presidential election.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting to decide on a package of anti-crisis measures at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, January 27, 2016. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/Kremlin

A White House spokesman said that earlier comments by a U.S. Treasury Department official alleging Putin is corrupt were a reflection of the administration’s view.

“This statement is outrageous and insulting,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with journalists, referring to the White House comment.

“In general, we see that overseas they have started preparing for Russia’s presidential election which is still more than two years away,” Peskov said.

“It is clear that negative stuff is being accumulated to be used against the head of our state ... to exert pressure and influence the course of the future election campaign.”

Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by

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