Russia 'could have' interfered with 2016 US election, says US President Trump
US President Donald Trump is greeted by Polish President Andrzej Duda during their bilateral meeting, as he visits Poland for the Three Seas Initiative Summit in Warsaw, Poland July 6, 2017. Photograph: (Reuters)
US President Donald Trump admitted that Russia may have interfered in the 2016 US election of which he was proclaimed the winner, but said that other countries may also have been involved, AFP reports.
"I've said it very simply. I think it could very well have been Russia. I think it could well have been other countries. I won't be specific. But I think a lot of people interfere," Trump said while in Warsaw.
On January 10, 2017, Trump told reporters, "as far as hacking, I think it was Russia," reports the New York Times, marking the first time he agreed with multiple US intelligence agencies which conclude that Russia interfered in the election to help him, Trump, win.
But then moments later Trump compared US intelligence agencies to Nazis and dodged questions about whether he or anyone on his team had contact with Russia during the election. "They said it totally never happened," Trump said of Russia denying their involvement in the hack. "I respected the fact that he said that," Trump said of Russia's denial, adding, "it could have been others also".
About the fact that there was an election breach, Trump has shown little outrage, then or since.
Another major NATO power Germany has since said they fear Russian interference in their election. Emmanuel Macron's campaign team has also blamed Russia for a "massive hacking attack" days before the French election, that he eventually won.
Election fraud or voter suppression?
Trump has launched an investigation into alleged voter fraud, in what he called without evidence a "rigged" election, in order to prove that Clinton, who won the popular vote by about 3 million votes, did not really win the popular vote.
Donald Trump lost the popular vote by more than any US president in American history.
President Trump's commission has sought to obtain the personal data of voters, including the "name, address, date of birth, party affiliation, last four Social Security number digits and voting history back to 2006 of potentially every voter in the state", reports the Washington Post.
So far 44 states have refused. Virginia's judge issued a blunt denial, along with the reasoning behind it:
"I have no intention of honouring this request. Virginia conducts fair, honest, and democratic elections, and there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in Virginia.
"This entire commission is based on the specious and false notion that there was widespread voter fraud last November. At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump's alternative election facts, and at worse is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression."