In his annual Question and Answer session Russian president Vladimir Putin told reporters that he would offer former FBI director James Comey a safe haven if prosecuted for his leak.
"[Comey] suddenly said he recorded a conversation with Trump, and then handed the tape over to the media, which is strange."
"What's the difference between him and Mr [Edward] Snowden then? He’s a human rights activist then, not an intelligence chief," Putin said. "At any rate, if this entails some kind of prosecutions against him [Comey], we are ready to grant him asylum in Russia. He should be aware of that," Putin added.
The Russian president was commenting on the congressional testimony made by former Comey, who accused Russia of interfering with the US election.
Putin also said he does not consider the U.S. to be an enemy. He reiterated his assentation that the anti-Russian sentiment in the US come from internal political strife in America.
"The Russophobia currently evolving in the United States – we can see it and we believe that this is the outcome of a spiraling domestic struggle for power."
The president said Russia has “many friends” in the US, although “media hysteria” has taken its toll on bilateral relations. Overall, Moscow believes US-Russia relations will return to normal.
Putin said Moscow is determined to re-engage with Washington on several pressing international issues, including nuclear non-proliferation, arms control, combatting poverty and climate change.