Earlier today, the FBI Director and the Director of National Intelligence both talked about Russian election interference. But President Trump apparently still has his doubts.
DNI Dan Coats specifically warned today about not just past, but present efforts from the Russians, saying, “There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 U.S. midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations.”
But per CNN tonight, the President of the United States is still not completely on board with this:
Even as his intelligence chiefs unanimously told a Senate panel Tuesday that Russia meddled in 2016 and is planning to do so again in 2018, three sources familiar with the President’s thinking say he remains unconvinced that Russia interfered in the presidential election.
While this issue is separate from the question of whether Trump campaign officials colluded with Russian officials, to Trump the issues are interwoven, the sources say. He views the notion that Russia meddled in the election as an argument that he had help to win, and that he didn’t win the election on his own.
Trump has publicly raised questions about Russian interference, something Independent Senator Angus King noted during the hearing today.
As he talked about Trump’s denials, King said, “My problem is I talk to people in Maine who say the whole thing is a witch hunt and it’s a hoax ‘because the president told me.’”
[image via screengrab]