President Donald Trump once again appeared to deny the definitive accounts by past and present intelligence accounts of the Russian hacking of the United States.
In an interview with CBS News, Trump was asked whether he holds Putin responsible. As the head of the country, Trump said he would have to Putin responsible. Trump said that he was “strong” telling Putin “we can’t have meddling. We can’t have any of that.” He then pivoted to attack former President Barack Obama for “supposedly” making “a strong statement” that “nobody heard.”
“But he denies ii, so if you believe U.S. intelligence agencies, is Putin lying to you?” Jeff Glor asked.
Trump said that he doesn’t want to get into “whether or not he’s lying,” only repeating his hostage statement line that he has confidence in his intelligence agencies.
Glor noted that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has already said that the Russian threat is ongoing.
Trump said that he would accept that since Coats “is an expert.” However, he then negated it in less than 60 seconds.
“I will tell you, though, it better not be. It better not be,” Trump said, appearing to not believe the definitive truth outlined by Coats and others.
Coats compared the Russian cyber-attack to the warnings leading up to September 11, 2001.
“It was in the months prior to September 2001 when, according to then-CIA Director George Tenet, the system is blinking red. And here we are nearly two decades later, and I’m here to say, the warning lights are blinking red again,” Coats said.
The White House did away with the Cybersecurity Coordinator position earlier this year and it was never revealed why.
Watch the Trump interview below: