Trump Now Claims He Never Said Russia Didn’t Meddle

President Donald Trump claimed in a Sunday tweet that he had never said Moscow didn’t interfere in the 2016 presidential election, an obviously false claim considering how often he says otherwise.

“I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400-pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!”, Trump wrote.

However, despite what he asserts in his tweet, President Trump has also disagreed with intelligence agencies’ assessments which explicitly says Russia meddled in 2016.

According to The New York Times, in June 2016 he said “It was the D.N.C. that did the ‘hacking,’” referring to the Democratic National Committee, which maintained Russian hackers had obtained a number of internal emails and opposition research. At the time, Trump claimed the D.N.C. did the hacking in order to distract “from the many issues facing their deeply flawed candidate.”

In September that same year, he said “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the D.N.C.,” adding that it might also be China or someone else that meddled in the election. A month later, he stated that there may not even be hacking, even though at the beginning of October the intelligence community issued a statement saying it was “confident that the Russian government” directed the cyberattacks.

In December 2016, Trump had an interview with Time magazine in which he denied altogether the notion that it was Moscow which meddled and instead suggested that getting along with Russia could help the U.S. fight ISIS.

The following month an unclassified report was issued by the intelligence community regarding Russia’s numerous attempts to influence the election, and after being fully briefed on it, Trump acknowledged the fact that “Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people” were trying to attack the cyberinfrastructure of the U.S.’s governmental institutions.

In May 2017, the president said that if Russia had really interfered in the election, he would like to know about it. A few months later, in November 2017, Trump reiterated what he had previously said, that Russian President Vladimir Putin denied Russia was involved in the hacking.

“Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ And I believe – I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said back then.

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