President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month and decried the “Russian hoax,” speaking at a rally just hours removed from his top national security officials decrying Russian attempts to influence US elections.
During the rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday, Trump did not mention allegations of interference or attacks on the US democratic process. “In Helsinki, I had a great meeting with Putin,” Trump said. “We discussed everything. We got along really well. By the way, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Now we’re being hindered by the Russian hoax — it’s a hoax, OK?”
Earlier on Thursday, key members of Trump’s national security team had appeared in the White House briefing room to warn that Russia was continuing its efforts to interfere in the US political system, saying Trump had directed them to make countering election interference a top priority.
— CNN (@CNN) August 3, 2018