Putin sarcastically offers Comey asylum in Russia, disparaging US "political infighting"

People watch Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions during the annual Direct Line with Vladimir Putin broadcast live by Russian TV channels in Moscow.

He also openly disputed claims of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections made by acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Putin said Comey's reported practice of taking detailed notes of his conversations with President Donald Trump was behavior like that of a civil rights activists rather than the head of a security bureau.

Putin called the move "really strange" and compared Comey to whistleblower Edward Snowden, who has sought asylum in Russian Federation since 2013 after leaking classified documents from the National Security Agency.

The 2017 edition aired Thursday, during which Putin addressed tensions with the U.S. According to a report from NBC News, Putin stressed the idea that Russian Federation is not even an enemy of the United States in the first place.

Putin added that since Comey's acts are more like an activist than an intelligence chief, if the latter feels pressured in the United States or if he is prosecuted, Russian Federation would be happy to grant him political asylum.

Putin also said he does not consider the U.S.to be an enemy.

He added that many heads of state around the world had told him of similar US meddling in their internal affairs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused BBC of supporting Kremlin critic and jailed Opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Several called for an end to Putin's rule, ahead of elections next year when he is widely expected to stand for a fourth term.

Prior to the end of the show, a presenter asked Putin a question sent by a viewer, of what he thinks could be people's feelings about the circus with staged questions. He said Moscow and Washington could cooperate in efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and pool efforts to tackle the North Korean nuclear and missile problem.

Navalny, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, has said he wants to run for the presidency in March 2018.

Earlier, the USA secret services claimed that hackers from Russian Federation attacked the Democratic party's servers with the aim of helping Republican nominee billionaire win the historical race.

With the recent allegations about Russia's military intelligence targeting USA voting software suppliers, more and more details are becoming available about what looks like a comprehensive, multifaceted operation targeting US elections in 2016.

Cautiously lifting the veil on his closely-guarded personal life, he revealed to for the first time that he has grandchildren, while saying he wants to keep them out of the spotlight so they can grow up "normally".

"I'm shocked at what the Central Intelligence Agency did and what Brennan did", he said. "He should be aware of that", Putin added.

It's hard to know what to make of this tacit admission given all of Putin's past denials.

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