Donald Trump on Monday once again dismissed the multiple, concurrent investigations into his campaign as a “witch hunt,” tweeting out a Fox News talking point that “In 2016 [Barack] Obama dismissed the idea that anyone could rig an American election.”
From @FoxNews "Bombshell: In 2016, Obama dismissed idea that anyone could rig an American election." Check out his statement - Witch Hunt!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1498530270.0
The statement seems to conflate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election with Trump’s oft-repeated line that election was “rigged” in favor of then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton—a claim which proved demonstrably false.
Obama made the statement in Rose Garden press conference just before the election, in response to Trump’s “rigged election talk.”
“There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections, in part because they’re so decentralized and the numbers of votes involved,” Obama said in October.
“There’s no evidence that that has happened in the past or that there are instances in which that will happen this time,” Obama continued. “And so, I‘d advise Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”
Russia engaged in an highly sophisticated, multi-layered influence campaign to help elect Trump over Clinton, according to the intelligence community’s consensus. The Kremlin—under the direction of Vladimir Putin—targeted voter rolls in at least 21 states. No one has suggested Russia directly impacted vote counts.