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Trump Misleads on Russia Hacking

On the eve of his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump made some questionable claims about the U.S. intelligence community’s finding that Russia hacked into U.S. political organizations to interfere in the 2016 presidential election:

  • Trump said the computer hacking “could have been other people and other countries.” There is no evidence for that. U.S. intelligence has named only Russia as the culprit. A Jan. 6 report based on the work of three intelligence agencies said Putin “ordered” a broad “influence campaign” to help elect Trump.
  • Trump claimed former President Barack Obama “did nothing” from August to Nov. 8 about Russia meddling in the election. That’s wrong. Among other things, Obama spoke to Putin about the issue in September, and his administration worked with state officials from mid-August until Election Day to prevent voting systems from being hacked.

The president made his remarks during a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw on July 6. Trump made the stop in Poland on his way to a Group of 20 summit meeting in Germany, where he is scheduled to meet with Putin on July 7.

‘Other Countries’?

Hallie Jackson of NBC News asked the president if he would “once and for all, yes or no, definitively say that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.” He gave a less-than-definitive answer.

 I think it was Russia. And I think it could have been other people and other countries. It could have been a lot of people interfered.

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