President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to point out that just weeks before Election Day in 2016, then-President Barack Obama suggested it would be close to impossible to “rig” a presidential election.
Trump’s tweets came in response to claims that his campaign colluded with Russia to defeat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and win the presidency.
But during an October 2016 news conference with then-Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, it was Obama who told Trump to “stop whining” about election rigging.
“There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections, in part because they’re so decentralized and the numbers of votes involved,” Obama said at the time, according to Politico.
“There’s no evidence that that has happened in the past or that there are instances in which that will happen this time,” he added. “And so, I‘d advise Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”
On Tuesday, Trump used Obama’s words against him to argue that following the election, Democrats changed their tune.
“When I easily won the Electoral College, the whole game changed and the Russian excuse became the narrative of the Dems,” Trump wrote, not long after “Fox & Friends” also cited Obama’s quote.
Fox News noted that “Obama was addressing Trump claims that voter fraud within the U.S. could affect the election, not Russian meddling. But Trump seized on the words Tuesday to put them into the current context of Russian election meddling.”
The president’s comments came just days after special counsel Robert Mueller officially charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies for attempting to interfere in the 2016 election.
As The Western Journal reported, the indictments essentially verify that Russian agents did, in fact, attempt to meddle in the U.S. election process, using a sophisticated system of social media and other online elements to foment disruption. However, the indictments have, at least thus far, brushed away the possibility that any American officials were knowingly involved in the process.
“Now, there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Friday during a news conference that offered more specifics of the indictments. “There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”
Muller’s report included what Republicans are calling even more vindication for the Trump campaign team. In addition to finding that no American was knowingly involved and that Russian activities did not ultimately sway the presidential election, the exhaustive report also determined that the Russian operation began as early as 2014, long before Trump launched his campaign, and that they sought to boost Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign during the Democrat primaries.
On Twitter, Trump celebrated Mueller’s findings, and criticized the “fake news media” for not reporting enough on the subject.
Trump later said on Tuesday that he has been “much tougher on Russia than Obama.”
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