The Kremlin on Monday urged US network Fox News to apologise after its presenter called Russian President Vladimir Putin "a killer" while interviewing US President Donald Trump.
"We consider such words from a Fox News correspondent unacceptable and offensive," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in a conference call.
"To be honest we would prefer to receive an apology addressed to the president from such a respected television company," the Kremlin spokesman added.
Fox News's Bill O'Reilly in an interview broadcast Sunday pressed Trump on Putin's alleged links to extrajudicial killings of journalists and dissidents, saying: "he's a killer though, Putin's a killer."
Trump answered: "We've got a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?"
"Take a look at what we've done too. We've made a lot of mistakes," Trump added.
Asked to react to Trump's response, Peskov said "in this case I would prefer to leave this without comment."
Trump has prompted a political firestorm with his remarks on Putin in the interview broadcast ahead of the Super Bowl.
"I do respect him. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn't mean I'll get along with them," Trump said.
Trump and Putin had their first call since the US president took office on 28 January, which the White House called "a significant start to improving the relationship between the United States and Russia."
Meanwhile, close to home, slamming The New York Times for inaccurate reporting, the White House has said that the popular American daily owes an apology to the US President Donald Trump.
"I would say that story was so riddled with inaccuracies and lies that they owe the President an apology for the way there were just literally blatant factual errors."
"And it's unacceptable to see that kind of reporting, or so-called reporting. That is literally the epitome of fake news," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters travelling with Trump abroad Air Force One from Tampa to Andrews Air Force base.
"I don't think the President owns a bathrobe, or definitely doesn't wear one. There was no meetings in conference..from top to bottom, it made up stories that just don't exist," he said, blasting The New York Times for a lead story it published on Monday on the internal differences within the White House staffers.
"When Mr Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home," the daily reported.
Clashes among staff are common in the opening days of every administration, but they have seldom been so public and so pronounced this early, it added.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Feb 07, 2017 10:16 am | Updated Date: Feb 07, 2017 10:16 am