- President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he was concerned Russia would attempt to help Democrats in upcoming elections, claiming no president has been “tougher” on Russia than him.
- Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and did so to bolster Trump’s chances of winning, the US intelligence community has concluded.
- Trump’s tweet Tuesday marks another shift in his stance on Russian election interference and comes roughly a week after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- The Obama administration took retaliatory measures against Russia for election interference.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed Russia would attempt to help Democrats in upcoming elections because no president has been “tougher” on Russia than him.
“I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!” he tweeted.
Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and did so to bolster Trump’s chances of winning, the US intelligence community has concluded. Intelligence agencies have warned Russia is planning future attacks on the US electoral system, including the 2018 midterms, but have not warned of any potential motivations toward US domestic politics.
Trump’s tweet on Tuesday marks another shift in his stance on Russian election interference. The president has long expressed doubts about whether or not Russia meddled at all, often contradicting the US intelligence community.
During a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, last Monday, Trump appeared to side with the Russian leader over US intelligence agencies on the subject.
Upon returning to the US, Trump claimed he misspoke during his meeting with Putin and said he agreed with the US intelligence community’s assessment on Russian election meddling.
Trump also referred to investigations around Russian election meddling as “a big hoax” in a tweet on Sunday. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said the president was referencing the allegations his campaign colluded with Russian officials it efforts to meddle with the 2016 election.
Meanwhile, the White House recently said discussions are “underway” to host Putin in Washington this fall, which could put his visit close to Election Day.
Trump’s administration has taken harsh actions against Russia at times, including expelling diplomats and implementing economic sanctions. But Trump has complained about such sanctions as he’s continued to compliment Putin and push for friendlier relations with Russia.
The Obama administration also took retaliatory measures against Russia for election interference.
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