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Pavel Golovkin / AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that "patriotic" Russians may have hacked the U.S., but claimed the Russian government "never" engages in such activity.

"If they feel patriotic, they may try to contribute to the fight against those who speak badly about Russia," he said, per the AP. Putin added that he could "imagine" that hackers could forge data to make it look like Russia was the origin of an attack.

Other highlights from Putin's conversation:

  • He refused to give advice to Trump: A "person like President Trump doesn't need any advice, especially if it comes to political issues."
  • On how current sanctions have impacted Russia: They've had "zero effect." He predicted the sanctions would soon ease.
  • On hacking the upcoming German elections: "We never engaged in that on a state level, and have no intention of doing so."

Go deeper

North Carolina Sheriff's deputy fatally shoots Black man

A Black man was fatally shot by a North Carolina sheriff's deputy in Elizabeth City, northeast of Raleigh, on Wednesday, igniting protests in the local community.

Details: Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten said at a news briefing the State Bureau of Investigation was investigating the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr., which happened about 8:30 a.m as deputies were serving a search warrant.

Pew: Over 80% of Asian adults say violence against them is increasing

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

More than 80% of Asian adults say that violence against them is increasing, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The big picture: The survey, conducted April 5-11, comes after the recent shootings in Atlanta in which eight people, including six Asian women were killed, as well as a yearlong spike in hate incidents against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

Danger lurks in the Democrats' police talk

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats celebrate last June after they passed the George Floyd Policing Act. Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images

As Congress forges ahead with police reform legislation, Democratic operatives are warning lawmakers to steer clear of any defund-the-police rhetoric since it could hurt them in the midterms.

Why it matters: President Biden and his fellow Democrats say Congress needs to pass the George Floyd Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds, prohibit no-knock warrants and generally make it easier to hold officers accountable for misconduct.