WASHINGTON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - The US State Department dismissed as "preposterous" Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement that Secretary of State John Kerry lied to Congress about al-Qaida's role in Syria.
"Secretary Kerry is, as you all know, a decorated combat veteran," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, referring to Kerry's service during the Vietnam War. "He's had ... more than words aimed at him.
"So he's not losing sleep after such a preposterous comment that was based on an inaccurate quote and was completely mischaracterized," she added.
On Wednesday, Putin accused Kerry of lying about the militant group al-Qaida's role in the Syrian conflict.
"They lie beautifully, of course. I saw debates in Congress. A congressman asks Mr Kerry: 'Is al Qaeda there?' He says: 'No, I am telling you responsibly that it is not,'" Putin said at a meeting of his human rights council in the Kremlin.