The Kremlin seemed pleased with President Trump’s tepid response in Poland to Russia’s campaign attacks.
The Russian government on Thursday seized on Trump’s wishy-washy words in Warsaw after he acknowledged Russia interfered in America’s 2016 election — but also suggested “other countries” might have meddled, too.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov credited Trump for emphasizing “equally the possibility that it could have been other countries.”
“Please note the nuances,” Peskov told Bloomberg about Trump’s answer.
Trump acknowledges Russia tried to influence U.S. election
During a news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trump made a rare acknowledgement that he agrees with the U.S. intelligence community consensus that Russia infiltrated the campaign.
But he still stopped short of fully endorsing that conclusion.
“I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries,” Trump told reporters.
“Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.”
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In fact, at least four U.S. intelligence agencies have determined Russia led a cyber campaign on the election — apparently with the mission of giving Trump an edge of his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton.
Intelligence agencies have not suggested another country collaborated with Russia or shared its intent to interfere with the campaign.
Trump’s remarks came one day before he is set to have his first face-to-face talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.
U.S. and Russian officials have said little about the agenda for the talk, and there is no indication so far that Trump plans to confront Putin about the election.
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Trump, who has publicly praised Putin for years, has at times begrudgingly acknowledged that Russia hacked the Democratic campaign. But he often suggests, without evidence, that they weren’t the only country doing so.
He has criticized former President Barack Obama for not punishing Russia after learning about its meddling in mid-2016, but Trump has yet to announce any of his own actions against Putin.
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