Jason Miller, a senior adviser on President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, repeatedly dodged a question about whether the campaign is receiving or will accept foreign assistance. He called it a “silly question,” despite ongoing concerns of foreign interference ahead of the November election.
“Can you flatly state that the Trump campaign and the administration will not accept foreign assistance this time?” host Chris Wallace pressed Miller in an interview on“Fox News Sunday.”
“Chris, I said that’s an absolutely silly question. We’re going to go and win this election fair and square,” Miller said. Wallace then asked Miller to answer the question for a third time.
“There is no foreign assistance that’s happening in this campaign,” Miller finally answered.
Miller recently joined the campaign after serving as a senior communications adviser on Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
Trump was accused of benefiting from Russian interference during the 2016 election. That country reportedly hacked email accounts belonging to leading Democratic Party figures, published false news stories and sowed public discord in the U.S. political system.
U.S. intelligence officials in February warned House lawmakers that Russia intended to interfere with the 2020 Democratic primaries, as well as the general election.
Last month, former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that he was receiving classified intelligence briefings that showed that “Russians are still engaged, trying to delegitimize our electoral process.”
“China and others are engaged as well in activities that are designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome,” Biden added.
Trump last summer said that he would accept campaign help from Russia if offered and would not necessarily inform the FBI of such an offer. He was impeached the following December on charges of abusing power and obstructing Congress after he asked Ukraine to help dig up incriminating information on his Democratic rivals. The Senate acquitted him in February.
Miller’s initial evasion of Wallace’s questions Sunday was part of a difficult interview, with few direct answers ahead of the November election and outstanding concerns about mail-in voting.
“It seems to me that you hurt your credibility if you don’t admit, ‘Yeah, we’re losing, and we got to turn things around,’” Wallace told Miller after he insisted that Trump is doing well in the polls, contrary to evidence Wallace pointed to.
Trump recently hinted at delaying the upcoming election out of fraud concerns, but Miller said Trump does not want a delay and denied that the administration is trying to create delays with mail-in ballots, which could sow public distrust in the outcome.
The question came up because Louis DeJoy, the head of the U.S. Postal Service and a top Republican donor and Trump ally, announced budget cuts last month that critics say could result in mail delays.
“Isn’t the postmaster general increasing the chances that the Postal Service will be overwhelmed? That the very infrastructure that you talk about being overwhelmed will be overwhelmed coming up to the election?” Wallace asked.
Miller insisted that any delays and chaos won’t be the fault of DeJoy’s changes but rather will result from Democrats who want to extend the deadline for mail-in ballots.