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Trump Suggests His Admin Conducted a Cyberattack Against Russia Before Midterms

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President Donald Trump appeared to confirm reports that he personally authorized a cyberattack in 2018 on Russia during the midterm elections.

“I would rather not say that, but you can believe that the whole thing happened, and it happened during my administration,” Trump said during a Fox News interview Sunday, apparently referring to a report that he authorized a cyberattack on Russia as the 2018 midterm election season neared.

“Nobody’s been tougher to Russia than me,” the president added in response to questions about whether he is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stooge.

Trump also appeared to express more skepticism about the type of intelligence from his national security team.

“They don’t like me to talk, intelligence says, ‘Please don’t talk intelligence,’ you know sometimes intelligence is good, and sometimes you look at Comey, and you look at Brennan and you look at Clapper, and I’m supposed to believe that intelligence?” the president said when asked why he didn’t discuss the United States’ cyberattack.

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“I never believe that intelligence.”

Trump’s admission comes after a Washington Post report in February suggested that the U.S. military blocked access to Russian troll farm Internet Research Agency during the midterms.

The operation was carried out to prevent interference in the midterms. The agency, which an oligarch with ties to Putin financed, is blamed for much of Russia’s interference during the 2016 election.

IRA spread messages through YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and Google+, along with Facebook and Twitter, which were the main point of attack during the election, according to media reports.

Should the Trump administration have conducted a cyberattack?

The black community was targeted “extensively with dozens” of Facebook pages and Instagram posts, the report notes.

IRA targeted users who had shown interest in black history, the Black Panther Party and Malcolm X, among other minority groups.

The most popular of the Russian Instagram accounts was @blackstagram, with 303,663 followers.

The report’s authors noted that the company exploited traditional societal schisms to fracture the electorate.

The National Security Council has not responded to reporters’ requests for comment about Trump’s comments.

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