President Donald Trump started his day on Thursday by appearing to acknowledge for the first time that Russian interference helped him win the 2016 presidential election, in a pair of tweets reported earlier today by The Inquisitr. But Trump’s supposed admission may have simply been a case of awkward wording in the tweets, because just moments after posting the message to Twitter, Trump appeared outside the White House to once again — as he has on numerous previous occasions — deny that Russian interference played any role in his 2016 victory.
“Russia did not help me get elected. You know who got me elected? You know who got me elected? I got me elected,” Trump told reporters, according to NBC News. “Russia did not help me at all.”
Trump’s latest denial of the long-running allegations of Russian election interference came less than 24 hours after now-former special counsel Robert Mueller made his first public statement since he was appointed to lead the Russia investigation two years ago, as The Inquisitr reported.
In that statement, according to a Washington Post transcript, Mueller reiterated the conclusion of his investigative report — as well as in a series of criminal indictments filed last year, as reported by The Inquisitr — that Russia had indeed waged “a concerted attack on our political system.” It was also alleged that the purpose of that attack was to help Trump win, in part by damaging his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
In his remarks outside the White House on Thursday, Trump also condemned Mueller as “a true Never-Trumper” who should not have been appointed to the special counsel’s position, according to NBC News.
Despite findings as early as June of 2016 by the cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike that Russia was actively tampering with the presidential election, followed in January 2017 by a definitive Director of National Intelligence report showing “with high confidence” that Russia had “a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” Trump has frequently dismissed the findings that Russia helped him win the election.
During the first presidential debate with Clinton, on September 26, 2016, Trump suggested that election hackers may not be Russian at all, but instead “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds,” as quoted by Politico.
President Trump: "Russia did not help me get elected. You know who got me elected? You know who got me elected? I got me elected. Russia did not help me at all." pic.twitter.com/B7Bb2M32Sq— CSPAN (@cspan) May 30, 2019
Perhaps most notoriously, after a personal conversation with Putin in November of 2017, Trump said that he believed Putin’s own denials that Russia interfered in the election — according to a WhiteHouse.gov transcript — rather than the assessments of the United States intelligence agencies.
Trump again said that he accepted Putin’s denials after a face-to-face meeting with the Russian strongman in July 2018, according to CNN.
The U.S. intelligence agencies say that based on information from deep inside the Kremlin itself — as The Inquisitr reported — they concluded that Putin himself ordered the election interference operation to help elect Trump.