Putin: Russian state didn't hack U.S. elections, but "patriotically minded" private Russian hackers maybe did

Vladimir Putin just changed his tune. The Russian president has previously denied having anything to do with hacking America's 2016 elections, but today says perhaps "patriotically minded" private Russian hackers were involved in cyberattacks last year that swung the presidential race for Donald J. Trump.

Andrew Higgins in the New York Times:

Raising the possibility of attacks by what he portrayed as free-spirited Russian patriots, Mr. Putin said that hackers "are like artists" who choose their targets depending how they feel "when they wake up in the morning."

"If they are patriotically minded, they start making their contributions — which are right, from their point of view — to the fight against those who say bad things about Russia," he added.

His remarks echoed ones by Mr. Trump, who has dismissed accusations of Russian meddling and said that the person responsible for the attack on the Democratic National Committee "could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds."