Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would not extradite the 13 Russians charged by special counsel Robert Mueller for working to influence the 2016 election.
Putin said in an interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, aired during “Meet The Press,” that the Russian citizens in the Internet Research Agency, along with two other companies, charged by Mueller will not be sent to the U.S. to face the accusations.
From Washington Examiner
“Never. Never,” Putin said when asked if he would extradite the Russians charged in the case. “Russia does not extradite its citizens to anyone. Does the U.S. extradite its citizens?”
Mueller’s investigation charged the Russian citizens with buying political ads on social media sites while faking their identities as Americans. The advertisements not only dealt directly with political candidates but also inflammatory political causes like Black Lives Matter, gun control, LGBT issues, and others.
It’s the belief of the American intelligence community that Putin ordered an influence campaign on the 2016 election in order to hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances of being elected president. According to the intelligence community, the Kremlin eventually developed a preference for seeing President Trump elected into office.
Putin again denied those charges in the interview and said there was no link between the people Mueller charged and Russia.
“They do not represent the Russian state, the Russian authorities. What they did specifically, I have no idea. I do not know what they were guided by,” he said.