President Trump was asked a very straightforward question about Russia's interference in the 2016 election. His response was essentially: "But what about Hillary's emails?"
Jonathan Lemire, an Associated Press reporter, reminded Trump at his joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that the entire U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia meddled in the election. Putin has repeatedly denied such actions.
"Who do you believe?" Lemire asked Trump. "Would you now, with the whole world watching, tell President Putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016, and would you warn him to never do it again?"
Trump immediately dodged, changing the topic without denouncing Russia or even acknowledging any misconduct. "You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server," he said, referring to the Democratic National Committee's server that was hacked. "I've been wondering that, I've been asking that for months and months." Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian agents in connection to the hacking last week.
Trump said that while U.S. officials have shown him that Russia interfered with election systems, Putin has said "it's not Russia" who meddled. "I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be [Russia]," said Trump, continuing to emphasize the importance of the DNC servers. "What happened to Hillary Clinton's emails?" he said, calling it a "disgrace" that her emails went missing. He said Putin was "extremely strong and powerful in his denial today" â so apparently, that's that. Watch Trump's non-answer below, via CNN. Summer Meza
Asked if he believes US intel agencies or Putin about Russia's interference in the 2016 election, Trump immediately starts pushing debunked DNC & Hillary conspiracy theories."I don't see any reason why it would be" Russia, Trump says, affirming he believes Putin's denials. pic.twitter.com/uciAoRxbxA
â Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 16, 2018