After President Donald Trump cast doubt on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election on Saturday, Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo issued a statement contradicting the commander-in-chief’s remarks.
“The Director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment entitled: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections. The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed.” A CIA spokesperson told.
Trump said that Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted during a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that Russia did not interfere in the election, and that he believed the Russian leader.
Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One, “He said he didn’t meddle. He said he didn’t meddle, I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”
He added, “I believe, I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it, but he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”
The CIA’s statement backing Trump’s remarks said Pompeo “stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment entitled: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections.”
The agency did not comment directly on Trump’s remarks.Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the intelligence community’s findings about Russia’s interference.
“The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and “Make America Great Again.'”
After they met for the first time on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in July, both the White House and the Kremlin acknowledged that Trump and Putin had discussed Russia’s interference in the election.
Secretary of state Rex Tillerson said Trump and Putin had a “robust and lengthy exchange” on the subject.
Tillerson told, “The President pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement. President Putin denied such involvement, as I think he has in the past.”
But the Kremlin said during a separate press briefing held at the same time that Trump had accepted Putin’s denials of Russian intervene.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said “President Trump said he’s heard Putin’s very clear statements that this is not true and that the Russian government didn’t interfere in the elections and that he accepts these statements.”
According to sources and reports, Trump and several of his close associates are being investigated by congressional intelligence committees and the FBI over whether they colluded with Moscow to tilt the election in his favor.
Trump is also being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller.
The White House initially said Comey was fired because of his handling of the investigation into former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct government business. Later, Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt that “this Russia thing” had been a factor in his decision to fire Comey.
Trump also reportedly called Comey a “nut job” during an Oval Office meeting with Russia’s former ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, and Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. He allegedly added that firing Comey had taken “great pressure” off of him.