Russian President Vladimir Putin says in a new interview that he had only limited interaction with former national security adviser Michael Flynn during a Moscow gala in December 2015, adding that he didn’t “really talk to him.”
“I made my speech. Then we talked about some other stuff. And I got up and left,” Putin told Megyn Kelly in the interview, which will air during the premiere of “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.”
“And then afterwards I was told, ‘You know there was an American gentleman, he was involved in some things. He used to be in the security services.’ That’s it. I didn’t even really talk to him. That’s the extent of my acquaintance with Mr. Flynn,” the Kremlin leader said through a translator.
A widely circulated photo of the dinner shows Flynn and Putin seated next to one other at an event celebrating Russia Today (RT), a Russian television network.
Putin told the NBC host that, after one day, he has a closer relationship to her than he did with Flynn.
“You and I, you and I personally, have a much closer relationship than I had with Mr. Flynn. You and I met yesterday evening. You and I have been working together all day today. And now we’re meeting again,” he said.
Flynn was paid $45,000 by RT to speak at the event, and he was considered to be in the “seat of honor” next to the Russian president.
Flynn resigned in February after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about conversations he had with a top Russian diplomat during the presidential campaign.
The retired U.S. Army officer reportedly told the FBI last week he would testify about President Trump’s campaign’s possible ties to Russia in exchange for immunity.