Putin Tells Democrats Not to be Sore Losers: ‘Roosevelt Would be Turning in his Grave’

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow on Dec. 23. (Natalia Kolesnikova/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow on Dec. 23. (Natalia Kolesnikova/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Russian President Vladi­mir Putin has a message for the White House and Democratic leaders who accuse him of stealing their candidate’s victory: Don’t be sore losers.

That was how Putin answered a question Friday at his nationally televised annual news conference about whether Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.

The Democrats “are losing on all fronts and looking elsewhere for things to blame,” he told the nearly 1,400 journalists packed into a Moscow convention hall for the nearly four-hour event. “In my view, this, how shall I say it, degrades their own dignity. You have to know how to lose with dignity.”

The Kremlin leader — who also sent an upbeat letter to Trump last week that the president-elect revealed Friday — pointed out that Republicans had won the House and Senate, as well.

“Did we do that, too?” he asked with a slight grin.

To chide the Democratic leadership, Putin invoked the U.S. president he occasionally mentions as someone he admires. He appears to seek favorable comparison to Franklin D. Roosevelt, America’s longest-serving head of state, because of his own efforts to help Russia prosper after the ruinous depression that followed the Soviet Union’s demise.

“Outstanding figures in American history from the ranks of the Democratic Party would likely be turning in their graves. Roosevelt certainly would be,” Putin told the journalists.

“Trump understood the mood of the people and kept going until the end, when nobody believed in him,” Putin said, adding with another wry smile, “except for you and me.”

Trump’s transition team said Friday that Putin had sent a letter Dec. 15 wishing the president-elect a merry Christmas and conveying a desire “to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level.”

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SOURCE: David Filipov 
The Washington Post