Russia said that it talked with the teams of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the U.S. presidential election as part of routine outreach during a campaign.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the Russian embassy in the U.S. held talks with the Trump camp that “were on a sufficient, responsible level.” Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, said in an e-mail that she was “not aware” of any meetings by campaign representatives with Russian diplomats.
Ryabkov said the talks were “part of routine everyday work.” There was also “sporadic” contact with the Clinton team, though it was “not always productive,” he said. Calls to members of Clinton’s former campaign team for comment weren’t immediately returned.
Trump has said he’d welcome better ties with Russia, would be willing to cooperate with Putin to defeat Islamic State in Syria, and may even consider recognizing the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea.