Thursday, July 6, 2017

Poland: Trump Criticizes U.S. Intelligence Agencies & Obama During Press Conference


At a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda today, Donald Trump broke with a longstanding tradition of not criticizing U.S. leaders or institutions while abroad.

Asked to definitively answer whether or not he believed Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, Trump attacked U.S. intelligence organizations and Barack Obama.

Via CNN:

Trump, asked about the fact the United States intelligence community has said it was Russia, compared that assessment to the eventually debunked claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in the lead-up to the Iraq War.

"I think it was Russia but I think it was probably other people and or countries. I see nothing wrong with that statement," Trump said. "Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure."

He added, "I remember when I was sitting back listening about Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, how everybody was 100% certain that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? That led to one big mess. They were wrong and it led to a mess."

Trump slammed former President Barack Obama's handling of Russian interference as he stood next to Duda, arguing that the former president "did nothing" to combat the interference.

"Why did he do nothing about it? He was told it was Russia by the CIA ... and he did nothing about it," Trump said. "They said he choked. I don't think he choked. Well, I don't think he choked. I think what happened was he thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the election and he said let's not do anything about it. Had he thought the other way, he would have done something about it."

NBC News fact-checked Trump's response regarding whether Obama did "nothing" about the Russian intervention:

On Oct. 7, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence issued a statement explicitly saying that Russia was behind the election hacks. ("The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.")

And two, the Obama administration sanctioned Russia for its interference. (“President Obama struck back at Russia on Thursday for its efforts to influence the 2016 election, ejecting 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives from the United States and imposing sanctions on Russia’s two leading intelligence services,” the New York Times wrote on Dec. 29, 2016.)

Now you can legitimately argue that Obama didn’t do ENOUGH or EARLY ENOUGH against Russia. But you can’t say he did nothing.

Watch Trump's response below. I'm sure he was dying to get out and answer the question for himself.

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