President Donald Trump appeared to confirm reports Sunday that he personally authorized a cyber attack on Russia during the 2018 midterm elections.
“I would rather not say that, but you can believe that the whole thing happened, and it happened during my administration,” Trump said during a Fox News interview Sunday, apparently referring to a report that he authorized a cyber attack on Russia as the 2018 midterm election season neared.
“Nobody’s been tougher to Russia than me,” the president added in response to questions about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump also appeared to express skepticism about intelligence from his national security team. (RELATED: AG Barr ‘Concerned’ That Steele Dossier Was Russian Disinformation)
“They don’t like me to talk, intelligence says, ‘please don’t talk intelligence,’ you know sometimes intelligence is good, and sometimes you look at Comey, and you look at Brennan and you look at Clapper, and I’m supposed to believe that intelligence?” the president said when asked why he didn’t discuss the cyber attack. “I never believe that intelligence.”
Trump’s admission comes after a Washington Post report in February suggested that the US military blocked access to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian troll farm, during the midterms.
The IRA spread messages through YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter with the intent of destabilizing the 2016 election, according to media reports. It targeted the black community “extensively with dozens” of Facebook pages and Instagram posts, the report notes.
The National Security Council has not responded to reporters’ requests for comment.
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