On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted, without any evidence, his concerns that Russia will interfere in the upcoming midterm elections — in order to help the Democrats.

After a week of blistering criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for Trump’s performance with Russian President Vladimir Putin, this tweet is the firmest confirmation from Trump to date of ongoing Russian attempts to interfere in the U.S. democratic process. Trump has faced criticism for not being publicly tough enough with Putin and being too critical with close allies.

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter!

A week of political news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.

Last week, the President give only hazy support when asked wether he agreed with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coat and his assessment that the Russian threat is ongoing. “Well, I’d accept, I mean he’s an expert. This is what he does,” Trump said. “He’s been doing a very good job. I have tremendous faith in Dan Coats. And if he says that, I would accept that. I will tell you though, it better not be. It better not be,” Trump said, CNN reported.

The tweet is a change in tone and represented a new type of rhetorical gymnastics for the president, one where America’s greatest geopolitical adversary is not, in fact, interfering in the election to help Trump, as it did in 2016, but is instead launching attacks aimed at helping Trump’s opponents. As recently as Sunday night, Trump again referred to the concept of Russian election meddling as a “big hoax.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has since sought to argue that the president was only “referring to the claim that his campaign had anything to do with it.”

This behavior shows similarities to the 2016 presidential election, when it looked like it might not go Trump’s way. He began complaining that it was going to be “rigged,” giving vague conspiratorial warnings that he would lose due to foul play. “I’m afraid the election’s going to be rigged. I have to be honest,” he told attendees at an Ohio rally in August of 2016.

Read more about:

Get the free uPolitics mobile app for the latest political news and videos

iPhone Android

Leave a comment