Putin Attacks Obama In Annual Moscow Press Conference Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual press conference in Moscow on Friday and spent much of it attacking the policies of outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama.
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Putin Attacks Obama In Annual Moscow Press Conference

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Putin Attacks Obama In Annual Moscow Press Conference

Putin Attacks Obama In Annual Moscow Press Conference

Putin Attacks Obama In Annual Moscow Press Conference

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/506759080/506759081" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual press conference in Moscow on Friday and spent much of it attacking the policies of outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President-elect Donald Trump got a letter of holiday greetings from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump's transition team provided a translated copy. In it, Putin says he hopes the two leaders will be able to act in a constructive and pragmatic manner to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation and collaborate on the international scene.

Well, Trump called the letter very nice and said Putin's thoughts were so correct. Earlier today, Putin held his annual press conference in Moscow. As NPR's Lucian Kim reports, Putin heaped praise on Trump and skewered the Obama administration.

LUCIAN KIM, BYLINE: Vladimir Putin always holds one big press conference at the end of the year. In this one, journalists kept asking him about accusations that the Kremlin interfered in the U.S. presidential election and his view of U.S.-Russian relations. Putin began by downplaying Donald Trump's tweet on Thursday calling for the U.S. to expand its nuclear capabilities.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

VLADIMIR PUTIN: (Speaking Russian).

KIM: Putin said there was, quote, "nothing out of the ordinary about it" since Trump had openly campaigned for a strong military. The Russian president didn't hide his sympathy for the president-elect and made it clear he's through dealing with President Obama.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

PUTIN: (Speaking Russian).

KIM: "The current administration and the Democratic Party leadership," Putin said, "are trying to blame all their failures on external factors." He said he agreed with Trump that anybody, even someone lying on their sofa, could have hacked into the Democratic National Committee.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

PUTIN: (Speaking Russian).

KIM: "The party that calls itself democratic has clearly forgotten the original meaning of the word," the Russian president said. A reporter from Russian state TV asked Putin about a recent poll showing that 37 percent of Republicans view Putin favorably. "That shows that a significant portion of Americans shares the concerns and traditional values of Russians," Putin said, "and that mutual sympathy could be the basis for closer relations in the future." Putin took issue with Obama's assertion last week that Republican president Ronald Reagan would, quote, "roll over in his grave" because of Putin's popularity in the GOP.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

PUTIN: (Speaking Russian).

KIM: "On the contrary," the Russian president said, "Reagan would be happy that Republicans are winning everywhere and had chosen Trump, who understood the mood of the American people."

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

PUTIN: (Speaking Russian).

KIM: "He went all the way," Putin said, "though only we believed that he would win." Putin said it's more likely that great Democrats are turning over in their graves. Unlike Franklin D. Roosevelt, who Putin said united Americans, Obama divided them.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

PUTIN: (Speaking Russian).

KIM: Though he insisted that Russia had no ability to sway the U.S. election, the Russian leader didn't hesitate to criticize what he called the archaic nature of the Electoral College. He didn't mention that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and that without the Electoral College, he'd be dealing with a very different president next year. Lucian Kim, NPR News, Moscow.

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