Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

  • The Kremlin said Vladimir Putin "can't play Trump like a fiddle", contradicting claims by the US president's former national security adviser John Bolton.
  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied Bolton's claims in a conference call with reporters on Friday.
  • Bolton is currently promoting his tell-all book about the White House, and told ABC News in an interview Thursday: "I think Putin thinks he can play him like a fiddle. I think Putin is smart, tough..."
  • Trump is currently trying to block the publication of Bolton's book, which makes a number of explosive claims about the president's handling of foreign affairs.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Kremlin said Friday that Russian president Vladimir Putin "can't play Trump like a fiddle", contradicting claims made by former US national security adviser John Bolton.

Speaking to reporters during a press call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "No, Putin can't play Trump like a fiddle."

Peskov's remarks were reported by Reuters and Bloomberg.

The Kremlin's comments are in response to an interview given by John Bolton, one of Trump's former national security advisers.

Bolton is currently promoting his upcoming tell-all book, "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir", which makes a number of stark claims about the president and his handling of foreign affairs.

Bolton told ABC News in an interview teased on Thursday: "I think Putin thinks he can play him like a fiddle. I think Putin is smart, tough. I think he sees that - he's not faced with a serious adversary here."

He continued: "When you're dealing with somebody like Putin, who has made his life understanding Russia's strategic position in the world, against Donald Trump, who doesn't enjoy reading about these issues or learning about them, it's a very difficult position for America to be in."

Bolton's remarks have added fuel to speculation around Trump's relationship with Russia and its president.

Former special counsel Robert Mueller found in April after a two-year investigation that Russia worked to help Trump get elected, perceiving it would benefit from that outcome.

The probe did not establish that Trump's campaign conspired with Russia, but the president has come under scrutiny for his statements in favor of the country. At the G7 summit in August, Trump lobbied for the readmittance of Russia.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is attempting to halt the publication of Bolton's book, which has been excerpted by The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal and brought to light some shocking claims about the president.

These include claims that Trump asked if Finland is part of Russia, his ignorance that Britain is a nuclear power, and that he sought Chinese premier Xi Jinping aid in getting reelected in 2020.

You can read our round-up of the most explosive claims here.

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