A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, also met with advisers to Hillary Clinton during the election campaign.
But he also admitted that Mr Putin preferred having Donald Trump win.
“If you look at some people connected with Hillary Clinton during her campaign, you would probably see that (Mr Kislyak) had lots of meetings of that kind,” Dimitri Peskov in an interview with CNN.
“There are lots of specialists in (political matters), people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary,” the spokesman said regarding the meetings Kislyak held with current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and which the former senator did not reveal under oath during his Senate confirmation hearings.
Mr Peskov said that it is the job of the Russian envoy to meet with officials from both main US political parties to discuss “bilateral relations” and he defended those meetings, saying that there was no intention to interfere in the 2016 elections.
The spokesman also said that Putin never expressed his support for then-Republican presidential nominee Trump, although he acknowledged that the Russian leader was hoping for a GOP victory.
“The candidate Hillary Clinton was quite negative about our country in her attitude and in her program, declaring Russia (to be) nearly the main evil in the world and the main threat for the United States,” Peskov said.
“And to the contrary, the other candidate, Donald Trump, was saying that, ‘Yes, we disagree with the Russians … in lots of issues, but we have to talk to them in order to try to find some understanding.’
“Whom would you like better? The one who says that Russia is evil or the one who says that, ‘Yes, we disagree, but let’s talk to understand and to try to find some points of agreement?'” he asked.