Trump briefly acknowledges Russian election interference, says not involved
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Trump briefly acknowledges Russian election interference, says not involved

Speaking to reporters, US president appears to walk back tweet of admission of Moscow’s 2016 tampering, says Kremlin ‘didn’t help him at all’

US President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing on Marine One for the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony on May 30, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing on Marine One for the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony on May 30, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US President Donald Trump briefly admitted for the first time on Thursday that Russia had indeed meddled in the 2016 presidential elections, though he asserted that he had not been involved in that effort.

“Russia, Russia, Russia! That’s all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax…And now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected. It was a crime that didn’t exist,” Trump tweeted.

But speaking to reporters in front of the White House lawn before departing for a commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, the president appeared to walk back the tweet, which has remained on his feed.

“Russia didn’t help me at all,” He told reporters, adding that Moscow would have preferred that Hillary Clinton have won in 2016, not him. “Nobody has been tougher” on Russia “than me,” he claimed.

The comments came a day after special counsel Robert Mueller spoke about his investigation into Russia election meddling and contacts with the Trump presidential campaign.

Mueller found that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, and while he said that charging Trump with a crime was “not an option” because of federal rules, he emphasized that he did not exonerate the president.

Trump told reporters that Mueller, who is a Republican, was “conflicted” and should have investigated law enforcement officials who the president claims tried to undermine him.

“Robert Mueller should have never been chosen,” Trump said, adding falsely that Mueller wanted the FBI director job, but the president told him no. “I think Mueller is a true never Trumper. He’s somebody who didn’t get a job that he wanted very badly.”

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