CNN host Kate Bolduan expressed concern for President Donald Trump on Wednesday, arguing that he didn’t seem to be able to admit that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
“I just can’t get over this one fact,” Bolduan said during a segment of “Out Front.”
“Why can’t the president at this point accept two truths that can exist at the same time, that Russia did interfere in the election — it is reality. And also that he is the legitimately elected president of the United States. What is it?”
But Trump tweeted about the fact that Russia had meddled in the election as early as June 2017.
Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2017
And Bolduan’s own network published an article July 18, 2018, titled “Trump Now Says He Holds Putin Responsible For Election Interference,” which cited an interview Trump gave to CBS’s Jeff Glor.
GLOR: “You say you agree with U.S. intelligence that Russia meddled in the election in 2016.”
TRUMP: “Yeah and I’ve said that before, Jeff. I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that is true, yeah.”
GLOR: “But you haven’t condemned Putin, specifically. Do you hold him personally responsible?”
TRUMP: “Well, I would, because he’s in charge of the country. Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes.”
CNN contributor April Ryan responded to Bolduan with a claim of her own, saying that Trump had insisted that he won the popular vote in order to protect his brand.
“You know, it boggles the mind because the president at one time, if you remember, this president was saying, you know, that he won even the popular vote, which was not the case,” Ryan explained. “So he is very concerned about the optics of how he won.” (RELATED: Sarah Sanders Fires Back At April Ryan For Saying Her Head Should Be ‘Lopped Off’)
But while Trump did say a number of times that he “won the popular vote,” there was context to his claim: potential voter fraud. He does not appear to have stated outright that he won the popular vote, but rather that he would have if voter fraud was not a factor.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016