Putin Offers Comey Asylum From Political Persecution in Russia

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin / AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered former FBI Director James Comey asylum should he face political persecution inside the United States.

"If Comey will be under the threat of political persecution, we are ready to accept him here," Putin said during Thursday's televised question-and-answer session with the Russian people.

Putin compared Comey's documentation of his conversation with President Donald Trump to that of a human rights defender. He even drew parallels to the leaks made by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 to the former director's actions, Politico reported.

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"It sounds very strange when the head of the security services writes down a conversation with the commander in chief and then leaks it to the media through his friend," Putin said.

He also openly disputed claims of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections made by acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

"[McCabe] said there was Russian interference in the U.S. election process but again gave no evidence. We have our opinion, we say it openly, but it's not some kind of underground sabotage activity," Putin said.