Donald Trump Says He’s Concerned Russia Could Interfere In 2018 Election – To Help Democrats
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.
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) 24. Juli 2018
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.
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.”
So President Obama knew about Russia before the Election. Why didn’t he do something about it? Why didn’t he tell our campaign? Because it is all a big hoax, that’s why, and he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22. Juli 2018
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.