Visiting Poland before going on the G20 Summit in Germany, President Donald Trump defended his use of social media, while saying he has the right to counter accusations that CNN has flung at him over the last two years. Trump told the press in Warsaw, “They have been fake news for a long time.” He said of CNN, “They have been covering me in a very, very dishonest way.”
When Trump was asked about the still simmering questions over whether Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election, he said that Russia had indeed been meddling. He then accused Barack Obama of avoiding a close examination of the interference. Trump said that Obama ignored Russian meddling during the campaign because he thought, as did most people, that fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton would emerge victorious last November.
Trump said, “The reason is he thought Hillary was going to win. If he thought I was going to win, he would have done plenty about it.” At the Warsaw press conference, Trump added, “His people said he choked. I don’t think he choked.”
“I agree. I think it was Russia, and I think it was probably other people and/or other countries. And I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows for sure,” Trump said. Until now he had not said that there was a possibility of Russian involvement in the election. He also compared American intelligence agencies’ contention that there was Russian election meddling to the erroneous 2003 assessment that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, which triggered the Iraq War. “Everybody was 100 percent sure that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Guess what, that led to one big mess,” he said. “They were wrong, and it led to a mess.”
Trump now goes to Berlin for the opening of the G20 Summit, where he will have an opportunity to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and other leaders. The meeting with Putin is penciled-in for Friday.