In Vietnam, at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, Donald Trump met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for the second time ever. Regardless, Trump again put Putin’s claims over his own intelligence officials.
“He said he didn’t meddle,” said Trump quoting Putin. “I asked him again.” He went on to call the investigation looking at Russian meddling in the 2016 elections a politically motivated “hit job.”
The latest call to move attention away from what is becoming a headache for Trump came less than two weeks after a Twitter tirade concerning Russia’s role in the US election.”DO SOMETHING,” he tweeted on Oct. 29, about the “witch hunt” that is “bad for our country.” The next day, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted three people involved in Trump’s election campaign for alleged links with Russia.
US intelligence officials have unequivocally and repeatedly confirmed Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. In an on-the-record senate hearing, every intelligence officer—including the FBI director, the CIA director, and the NSA director—asked if Russia meddled in the election said “yes.” Watch for yourself starting at the 42-minute mark:
Nevertheless, Trump insists that he believes Putin.
“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said of his short chat with Putin. “I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”