In a Tuesday morning tweet, President Trump claimed he was “concerned” that Russia is “fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election.”
U.S. intelligence and President Putin himself pointed to Republican favoritism, Trump suggested differently.
Trump explained that, because of his tough stance on Putin, “they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats.” His reasoning? “They definitely don’t want Trump.”
I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2018
Trump’s claim was proven false before he uttered it. At a press conference in Helsinki last week, President Putin told the world that he wanted Trump to win, saying, “Yes, I did, because he was the one who wanted to normalize relations with Russia.”
The U.S. intelligence community also proved that Russian agents attempted to meddle in the 2016 elections to benefit Republicans. Considering the history, it’s unlikely they would flip to the other side, especially with the growing relations between Trump and Putin.
Despite intelligence reports confirming the interference, Trump stated at the news conference that he didn’t see a reason that Russia would meddle in the elections. The White House later tried to walk back the claim.
The president wavers often on whether or not Russia is trying to interfere with U.S. politics. He states often that Russian meddling in U.S. elections is fake news. He also frequently blasts Robert Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt.” However, Tuesday’s tweet suggests he might not believe it’s a witch hunt after all.
In response to credible threats, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fl) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) co-authored a bill that hits Russia with additional sanctions if it interferes in future elections. The Senators hope to bring the bill to a committee vote early next month.
Democrats need to take just two seats in the Senate in November to gain a majority. The House of Representatives will need to flip 23 seats. If that happens, they can potentially stall much of the president’s agenda.