Vladimir Putin misquoted one of the most famous U.S. presidential catchphrases of all time on Thursday, using the garbled expression to deny his government interfered in the American presidential election.
Putin was asked on a CNBC-moderated panel discussion to confirm that he and his regime "never tried to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, and there will be no evidence found?"
In his response, he attempted to channel a former U.S. president.
"Ronald Reagan, debating about taxes and addressing the Americans, said, 'Watch my lips.' He said, 'No. Watch my lips. No,'" Putin told the audience.
But the man rated by Forbes as the world's powerful person got it wrong. It was George H.W. Bush, not Reagan, who asked Americans in 1988 to: "Read my lips: no new taxes."
It's also not a quote that springs to mind when trying to convey an immovable promise. In a compromise with Congress, Bush did end up raising taxes, and his words were used against him in an attack ad by Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton during his successful 1992 presidential campaign.
"You don't have to read his lips — read his record," the Democratic ad said of Clinton.
The agencies said this evolved into an attempt to help Trump win the White House, and they concluded with "a high level of confidence" that Putin became personally involved.
"All those things are fictional, illusory and provocations, lies," Putin told the CNBC-moderated discussion at the annual Arctic Forum in the Russian city of Arkhangelsk. "All these are used for domestic American political agendas. The anti-Russian card is played by different political forces inside the United States to trade on that and consolidate their positions inside."