Kremlin: 'Lousy' US relations could improve with Trump

Russia: We're ready to develop good relations with Trump
Russia: We're ready to develop good relations with Trump

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    Russia: We're ready to develop good relations with Trump

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Russia: We're ready to develop good relations with Trump 09:16

Washington (CNN)A top aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of points of agreement between the Kremlin and President-elect Donald Trump in a wide-ranging interview with CNN Friday, even as he said the relationship with the current White House is "lousy."

"They seem to be very pragmatic, both of them," Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Christiane Amanpour. "We've heard Mr. Trump mentioning overwhelming priority of America's national interests. And the same is being proclaimed by President Putin. He's very consistent in that, saying that Russia and Russia's people's prosperity and their national interests are the main objective and main priority."
He continued: "But at the same time they both expressed a readiness to develop good relations with other countries in the world ... this is a very good, very positive coincidence in my opinion."
    In contrast, Peskov said that the Russian government has a "lousy" relationship with the Obama administration.
    "If our two leaders, I mean the current Russia's leader, President Putin, and President-elect Trump, are wise enough to have a political will to talk to each other ... then we'll really have a chance to talk and to try to solve the problems being constructive," Peskov said. "Because what we have currently is a very lousy relationship."
    Peskov also defended Putin's involvement in the 2016 election despite Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton repeatedly accusing Trump of having close ties with the Russian leader.
    "I would like to remind you that President Putin did his best in order to stay neutral in this story," Peskov said. "He never pointed out his favorite candidate and he was very careful, saying Russia would welcome any choice of (the) American people and we cannot afford interfering in America's domestic affairs."
    His remarks come after US officials told CNN that the Russian government supplied WikiLeaks with hacked emails pertaining to the US presidential election.
    Amanpour asked Peskov specifically about the communication the Russian government had with Trump's staff.
    "Russian experts are in permanent contact with their counterparts, with experts on the Russia/US relations," Peskov responded. "It's a normal exchange of views."
    He added, "I want to repeat that we cannot speak about any official contact or contact orchestrated or initiated from the Kremlin. We haven't had any official contact with them."
    The Russian government said Thursday that it maintained contact with representatives from Trump and Clinton's presidential campaigns.
    "During this entire period, we not only sent some signals through some representatives, or private messages," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday about the communications with the Trump staff.
    Hope Hicks, a spokesperson for Trump's campaign, flatly denied the Russian statements, telling CNN, "This is not accurate."
    The Clinton campaign did not respond to a request for comment Thursday on the assertions.
    Amanpour asked Peskov specifically about the communication the Russian government had with Trump's staff.
    "Listen, Russian experts are in permanent contact with their counterparts, with experts on the Russia/US relations," Peskov responded. "It's a normal exchange of views ... But again I want to repeat that we cannot speak about any official contact or contact orchestrated or initiated from the Kremlin. We haven't had any official contact with them."
    Peskov also said that the Russian government has a "lousy" relationship with President Barack Obama's administration.
    "If our two leaders, I mean the current Russia's leader, President Putin, and President-elect Trump are wise enough to have a political will to talk to each other ... then we'll really have a chance to talk and to try to solve the problems being constructive," Peskov said. "Because what we have currently is a very lousy relationship."