|Donald Trump (L) Vladimir Putin (R)|
After meeting privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Danang, Vietnam, Donald Trump said that he had asked whether Russia had meddled in last year’s presidential election.
According to Trump, Putin not only denied the allegation but appeared “insulted” by the issue.
From the New York Times:
“He said he didn’t meddle — I asked him again,” Mr. Trump told reporters traveling with him aboard Air Force One as he flew to Hanoi for more meetings. “You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”
Mr. Trump did not answer a direct question about whether he believed Mr. Putin’s denials, but his account of the conversation indicated he was far more inclined to accept the Russian president’s assertions than those of his own intelligence agencies, which have concluded that Mr. Putin directed an elaborate effort to interfere in the vote.
“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Putin. “I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”
Mr. Trump heaped disdain on the former leaders of three American intelligence agencies — John O. Brennan, the former C.I.A. director; James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence; and James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director he fired this year — appearing to suggest that they were less trustworthy than Mr. Putin.
“I mean, give me a break — they’re political hacks,” Mr. Trump said. “You have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey. Comey’s proven now to be a liar, and he’s proven to be a leaker, so you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that.”
So, to recap: Donald Trump believes a man who was trained as a KGB agent to lie successfully, and throws dedicated U.S. intelligence leaders under the bus.
When the President of the United States believes Putin over our own FBI, CIA, and NSA it says something about who he likes and trusts. He prefers Putin over men and women who risk their lives for us. https://t.co/AMsPqttXLk
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) November 11, 2017
“[Putin] said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. And I believe… I think he is very insulted by it.”
You know who else is insulted by it, Mr. President? The American people. You believe a foreign adversary over your own intelligence agencies. https://t.co/lZkQAch7CT
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 11, 2017
Things Trump believes: Putin’s denials about Russian meddling
Things Trump doesn’t believe: Obama’s birth certificate is real.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) November 11, 2017
Trump is a KGB officer’s dream. A perfectly indebted & fearful bootlick. His slavish loyalty to Putin is a clear & present danger to the Nation. #PeePeeTapesMustBeTrue https://t.co/7vgMquozXw— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) November 11, 2017
For the first time EVER, the Dotard-in-Chief who said:
🤡[McCain's] not a hero…
🤡He knew what he signed up for
🤡Liddle Bob Corker
🤡Throw that son of a bitch out
CARES that someone felt insulted…Putin.https://t.co/DCf4O4A5IB— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) November 11, 2017
CIA chief Mike Pompeo: Putin attacked 2016 election.
DNI Dan Coats: Putin attacked 2016 election.
FBI director Christopher Wray: Putin attacked 2016 election.
NSA head Mike Rogers: Putin attacked 2016 election.
Putin: I did not attack 2016 election.
Trump: I believe Putin.— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) November 11, 2017
The president attacks those who serve to keep us safe, while he covers for a foreign adversary’s attacks on our freedom. We’ve never faced this kind of challenge before, but it’s every bit as bad as it sounds. https://t.co/SVFKPrjkkr
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) November 11, 2017
Anybody have a bridge to sell? https://t.co/FRJA7BEoN4
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) November 11, 2017
Can @realDonaldTrump try a little harder to fall under the influence of a KGB agent, or is that not possible at this point? https://t.co/yC4zorPTdQ
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) November 11, 2017
It’s staggering that the U.S. President takes the word of a Russian dictator who presides over the killings of journalists, over his own intelligence community. https://t.co/NhtJwvM472
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) November 11, 2017