Vladimir Putin responds to James Comey firing: 'we had nothing to do with it'

Russian President insists his American counterpart was acting 'within law and constitution'

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The Independent US

Vladimir Putin has insisted Russia had “nothing to do with” the firing of former FBI director James Comey.

Questioned about the FBI director’s surprise sacking on Tuesday evening, Mr Putin replied: “Your question looks very funny for me.

“We have nothing to do with it. President Trump is acting in accordance with his law and constitution.”

He also said the firing would have "no effect" on US-Russia relations. 

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed in a statement that Mr Comey had been "terminated and removed from office”.

Mr Trump said the outgoing intelligence and security chief was “not doing a good job” and, in his letter to Mr Comey, said the firing was necessary to restore "public trust and confidence" in the FBI.

The administration also sent Mr Comey a scathing review by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, criticising his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email practises.

Mr Putin’s comments on Wednesday afternoon - to a CBS News reporter based in the Russian city of Sochi, where the Russian leader was taking part in a hockey match – came as several sources claimed Mr Comey had requested more money to fund his investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election. 

Meanwhile, Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has met Mr Trump in Washington.

Mr Trump emphasised his desire to build better relations with the Kremlin during the White House meeting. 

Mr Lavrov said suggestions that Russians were interfering in US politics were "humiliating" for the American people.