Fresh off a G-20 summit that included a meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, President Trump continued to send mixed messages Sunday about the Russia hacking investigation that shadows the 2016 election and Trump’s White House.
“I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “He vehemently denied it. I’ve already given my opinion …”
I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I've already given my opinion…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017
Trump equivocated on the hacking issue during his recent trip to Poland and Germany, telling reporters that “it could very well have been Russia” that hacked top Democrats, “but I think it could well have been other countries” as well. “Nobody really knows fore sure,” the president said.
Russian officials said Trump accepted Putin’s denial of Russian hacking and claims that political enemies are exaggerating the issue — claims that U.S. officials did not dispute a day after the high-profile meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany,
However, during an interview on Fox News Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Trump does not believe Putin’s denials, and repeatedly pressed the Russian president on election meddling before moving on to other issues. (Priebus added that Trump believes others have meddled in elections as well, citing China and North Korea as examples.)
“Yes, he (Trump) believes that Russia probably committed all of these acts that we’ve been told of,” Priebus told Fox News.
As a special counsel and congressional committees investigate Russian election meddling — and any links there may have been to the Trump campaign — the president also used Twitter to again attack Democrats and the news media over the many questions surrounding his 2016 race against Hillary Clinton.
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