On November 11 2017 Trump was speaking to reporters on Air Force One about Russia and Putin, to which he said “He said he didn’t meddle.”
“I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. But I just asked him again, and he said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they’re saying he did.”
US intelligence agencies are unanimously agreed that Russia attempted to the affect the 2016 election in Mr Trump’s favour, through online campaigns, such as facebook adverts and the production of “fake news”.
Special Counsel, Robert Mueller and Congress are both investigating whether Trump’s team colluded with Russia to ensure victory.
On Saturday Trump seemed to accept Putin’s word over that of his own US intelligence agencies.
“Look, I can’t stand there and argue with him,” he said. “I’d rather have him get out of Syria, to be honest with you. I’d rather have him – you know, work with him on the Ukraine than standing and arguing about whether or not – because that whole thing was set up by the Democrats.”
“Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ And I believe, I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. I think he’s very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth.”
Ex-intelligence chiefs Respond November 12
Former national intelligence chief James Clapper and ex-CIA director John Brennan appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
Clapper told CNN that “Putin is committed to undermining our system, our democracy and our whole process,”
Clapper added: “The threat posed by Russia, as John just said, is manifest and obvious. To try to paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding, and in fact, poses a peril to this country.”
Brennan added “It’s either naiveté, ignorance or fear in terms of what Mr. Trump is doing vis-a-vis the Russians.”
Clapper also stated “I do think both the Chinese and the Russians think they can play him.”
Trump held a news conference in Hanoi, Vietnam where he sought to clarify comments made whilst on Air Force One that suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin was being sincere in his denials that Moscow engaged in election meddling.
“I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election,” Trump said. “As to whether I believe it or not, I am with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with the leadership.”