Sean Spicer's Nonanswer About Russian Election Meddling Just Creates More Questions

Trump "believes that Russia probably was involved, potentially some other countries as well.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that President Donald Trump thinks Russia and “some other countries” likely interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

“[Trump] believes that Russia probably was involved,” Spicer said during an off-camera briefing. “Potentially some other countries as well.”

The statement, however, differs from the U.S. intelligence community’s findings. Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind an influence campaign launched to tip the election in Trump’s favor, according to a joint report that several intelligence agencies, including the CIA and FBI, issued in January.

Trump acknowledged in January that Russia had indeed hacked the Democratic National Committee’s servers during the campaign, but he was also quick to downplay the country’s role in election meddling.

“I also think we also get hacked by other countries, and other people,” he said during a press conference at the time. 

On Monday, Spicer wouldn’t say which countries Trump believes may have interfered alongside Russia and didn’t offer evidence supporting the claim. 

It seems Spicer followed through on his promise to “touch base” with his boss after telling reporters last week that he wasn’t sure whether Trump believed Russia tried to interfere in the election. However, the press secretary refused to say on Monday whether Trump believes Putin tried to help him get elected.

Either way, he claimed Trump was just “joking” in July 2016 when he urged Russia to hack the email of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

This article has been updated with Trump’s comments from January. 



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