Speed Reads


Trump now claims Russia will interfere in 2018 elections 'for the Democrats'

President Trump on Tuesday appeared to acknowledge Russia's continuing efforts to interfere in U.S. elections — but claimed against evidence that Moscow would be "pushing very hard for the Democrats" in the midterms this fall. "I'm very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact in the upcoming election," Trump wrote.

Trump has been vacillating on Russian cyberattacks since his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, when he appeared to believe Putin's denials over the conclusions of U.S. intelligence. Putin was "extremely strong and powerful in his denial" that Russian hackers targeted the 2016 election, Trump said at the two leaders' joint press conference following their closed-door meeting. He also said "I don't see why it would be" Russia that interfered in the election, though he later backtracked, claiming he meant to say that he didn't see why it "wouldn't" be Russia that meddled.

U.S. intelligence agencies are unanimous in their conclusion that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election with intent to swing things in Trump's favor; they have not definitively said that the Russian efforts affected the election's outcome. At the press conference last week, Putin acknowledged that he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election. "Yes, I did," Putin said. "Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal."