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Russian Foreign Ministry poked fun at hacker scandal

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/04/2017 By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin wave to Chinese children after a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People on June 25, 2016 in Beijing, China. © Getty Images Russian President Vladimir Putin wave to Chinese children after a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People on June 25, 2016 in Beijing, China. MOSCOW — Need some election interference? The Russian Foreign Ministry is ready to help — or so it says on April Fools' Day.

On Saturday, the ministry posted on its Facebook page an audio file of the purported new automated telephone switchboard message for Russian embassies.

"To arrange a call from a Russian diplomat to your political opponent, press 1," the recording begins, in Russian and English. Press 2 "to use the services of Russian hackers," and 3 "to request election interference."

A ministry duty officer, who did not give his name in line with official practice, confirmed to The Associated Press that the post was an official joke.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday emphatically denied allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.

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