During his interview with NBC, President of Russia Vladimir Putin claimed that reporter Keir Simmons did not let him speak because he didn't like Putin's replies.
The verbatim of Putin's interview appeared on the Kremlin's website on June 14.
In particular, interlocutors mentioned that in Russia, certain representatives of opposition and journalists are considered foreign agents. Putin reiterated that respective law was approved in the U.S. in the 1930s, and it was much harsher than the one approved in Russia.
The excerpt of the verbatim follows:
"In America, we call what you're doing now "whataboutism." "What about this? What about that?" It's a way of not answering the question. Let me ask you a direct question. Did— did you— did you—?"
"Let me answer, you just asked me a question. You don't like my reply, and you shut me up instantly. It's inappropriate".
Next, the journalist asked extra questions, after which Putin claimed that Simmons was trying to shut him up.
"No. No. If— you muster patience and let me finish saying what I mean to say. Everything will be clear to you. But you are not liking my answer. You don't want my answer to be heard by your audience. That is the problem. You are shutting me down. Is that a free expression—"
VLADIMIR PUTIN: "—or is that free expression American way? So thank you very much. Here we go. The U.S. adopted this law. We passed this law very recently in order to protect our society against outside interference".
It's the first time in three years that Putin agreed on an interview with the American TV channel. In it, the Russian leader shared his view about Black Lives Matter movement, claimed that Ukrainian troops were building up forces in Donbas, named the conditions for his successor to take power, and mentioned the Russian opposition figure Aleksei Navalny.