President Donald Trump appeared to want to flip the script on Tuesday tweeting that he is “very concerned” that Russia will be “pushing very hard for Democrats” this fall in the midterm elections.
Trump tweeted, “I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats.”
“They definitely don’t want Trump!” he added.
I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2018
Trump received a torrent of criticism from members of the media, as well as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, for seeming to be as ready to accept Putin’s denial of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential race as the U.S. intelligence community’s findings that it did.
The president, following the meeting, clarified that he has “full faith” in America’s intelligence agencies, including their findings concerning Russian attempts to influence the election.
He noted that he has stated multiple times over the past year that he believes Russia sought to meddle, but he does not believe it changed the outcome.
In an interview with CNBC last Thursday, Trump said, “Getting along with President Putin, getting along with Russia, is positive, not a negative.”
He added, “That being said, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be the worst enemy he’s ever had.”
Trump emphasized the actions he has taken against Putin’s interests.
“Look at the sanctions I threw on. Look at the diplomats I threw out. Look at all of the things that I’ve done,” he said.
The president continued, “Nobody else did what I’ve done. Obama didn’t do it. Obama was a patsy for Russia. He was a total patsy.
“I have been far tougher on Russia than any president in many, many years.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to the president’s assertion that the Russians may help the Democrats this fall by tweeting video footage from the Helsinki summit of Putin saying he wanted Trump to win in 2016. “Let’s go to the video tape (again),” Schumer wrote.
Following the Democrat’s harsh rhetoric toward Trump’s meeting with Putin last week, a 2003 Associated Press photo of Schumer accompanying the Russian president on a visit to New York City circulated widely.
Garrett Graff, writing for Politico, argued that Trump just might be right about the Russians seeking to help the Democrats regain power this November.
“There’s solid geopolitical evidence that boosting the Democrats would be a smart strategy for a foreign actor this fall,” he wrote.
Graff continued, “Vladimir Putin’s goal isn’t—and never was—to help the Republican Party, at least in the long run.”
“Boosting Trump’s presidential campaign was a means to Putin’s end: Weakening the West, and exploiting the seams and divisions of the West’s open democracies to undermine our legitimacy and moral standing.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., agreed with Trump that Putin’s plan is not wedded to a person or a party, but meant to sow chaos.
Totally agree with President Trump’s observation about Russia not being long-term pro-Republican or pro-Trump. Putin is pro-Chaos and is an Equal Opportunity Disruptor of the American electoral system.
Let’s act together, let’s act now. https://t.co/iY5or4mLpA
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 24, 2018
He wrote, “Putin is pro-Chaos and is an Equal Opportunity Disruptor of the American electoral system.”
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