President Donald Trump on Tuesday stated that he is worried that Russia will attempt to interfere in this year’s midterm elections, saying that Moscow “will be pushing very hard” to support Democrats, CNBC reported.
“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,” Trump tweeted.
Trump, during the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, dismissed the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence, before the summit said that warning signs were “blinking red,” indicating that Russia was preparing to launch another cyber attack.
Trump on several occasions said that no president has been tougher on Russia than him, but he has drawn bipartisan criticism for his reluctance to call out Putin, particularly on the matter of election interference.
Administration officials say that the administration has armed Ukrainians, bombed Syria, expelled Russian diplomats and even implemented new sanctions, to which Trump first objected.
Meanwhile, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and his Democratic counterpart Chris Van Hollen have co-authored a bill that would hit Russia with additional sanctions if it is found to have interfered in future elections. The senators have requested a committee vote on the legislation by early next month.
Trump regularly says that he believes improved relations with Russia would be a positive development, and said prior to departing for Europe earlier this month that he hoped Putin could someday be a friend.
At the press conference in Finland, Putin told reporters he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election.
“Yes, I did, because he was the one who wanted to normalize relations with Russia,” Putin said.