The State Department on Thursday denied Russian President Vladimir Putin's assertion that the United States is behind the leak of the "Panama Papers," which implicate key members of Putin's network in hiding offshore funds.

"I just reject the premise, the assertion, that we're in any way involved in the actual leak of these documents," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

Toner agreed with the assertion that Putin's claim is "completely wrong."

"The Panama Papers episode is yet another attempt to destabilize Russia from within," Putin said Thursday at a media availability. "The easiest way to do so is to induce some mistrust to authorities within society."

Some have also begun to note that the majority of those implicated in the leaks so far are generally hostile to American interests. Wikileaks has noted that one of the groups that produced the Panama Papers story is funded by USAID, a U.S. government agency.

But State dismissed that link as irrelevant.

"So this is the Organized Crime and Corruption and Reporting Project [linked to USAID]. They have received support from various donors, including the U.S. government," Toner said.

"This organization conducts investigative journalism, primarily in Europe," he added. "Obviously, these are the kinds of organizations that USAID has, and continues to fund. But not specifically to go after any particular government, or any particular individual."

The Papers' organizers, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, is U.S.-based.

The Panamanian law firm implicated in arranging the offshore funds, Mossack Fonsecam, has maintained to the Wall Street Journal that it has done nothing wrong.

Putin said Thursday that he is "proud" of his friends implicated in the leaks.

"I am proud of people like Sergey Pavlovich [Roldugin] ... and am proud to have him among my friends," Putin said of the Russian cellist alleged to have embezzled billions, an assertion Putin flatly dismissed. "Almost all money that he has earned he has spent on buying music instruments abroad, which he then brought to Russia and gave them to state institutions."