Multiple United States intelligence agencies, as well as former special counsel Robert Mueller, have unanimously found that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election in what Mueller described as "sweeping and systematic fashion." However, President Donald Trump has repeatedly denied that such interference took place, as The Inquisitr has reported.
In fact, at a summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland, last year, Trump accepted and endorsed Russian President Vladimir Putin's denial of the Russian election interference operation, in what CNN termed "a stunning rebuke of the U.S. intelligence community."
On Thursday, Trump extended his denial of Russian election interference to the 2020 election as well, despite the fact that in congressional testimony last week, Mueller stated that Russia was continuing to covertly meddle in the U.S. election process "as we sit here," as quoted by CNN.
"And they expect to do it during the next campaign," Mueller added at that time.
Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray also testified last week and underscored Mueller's points, according to a CNN report.
"The Russians are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections through the foreign influence," Wray warned in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
When asked by ABC News reporter Karen Travers during a brief meeting with the press outside the White House on Thursday whether he believed Mueller's warning regarding Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election, Trump's appeared incredulous, saying, "You don't really believe this. Do you believe this?" according to ABC News on Twitter.
That Trump would flatly dismiss the prospect of Russian interference in the 2020 election is arguably not surprising in light of a New York Times report earlier this year. This report revealed that Trump cabinet officials and aides are instructed to avoid even mentioning the chance of Russian interference in 2020 to the president.
Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, told the cabinet officials that 2020 Russian election interference "wasn't a great subject and should be kept below his level," according to the Times report.
"Even raising this issue is met with hostility by a president who views any discussion of election security as a threat to his legitimacy," House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff told The New York Times.
According to former director of national intelligence James Clapper, Trump is correct to view revelations of Russian election interference as a threat to the legitimacy of his election victory.
In a new book, Clapper wrote, "Of course, the Russian efforts affected the outcome," as quoted by The Inquisitr.
The evidence that Trump would not have won the 2016 election without the "massive" Russian election sabotage campaign is "staggering," Clapper wrote in his book.