The ‘Did-Russia-Interfere’ Question Follows Trump to Poland

By Susan Jones | July 6, 2017 | 6:08am EDT
President Donald Trump speaks at a joint news conference with the Polish president in Warsaw on Thursday, July 6, 2017. (Screen grab from CNN)

( - “Will you once and for all, yes or no, definitively say that Russia interfered in the 2016 election?” NBC’s Hallie Jackson asked President Trump on Thursday morning as he stood side by side with the Polish president at a joint news conference.

“Well I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries. It could have been a lot of people interfered,” Trump responded.

“I think a lot of people interfered. I think it’s been happening for a long time -- it’s been happening for many, many years.”

Several times during the news conference, President Trump criticized his predecessor by name, and this was one of those occasions:

Now, the thing I have to mention is that Barak Obama, when he was president, found out about this, in terms of if it were Russia, found out about it in August. Now, the election was in November. That’s a lot of time. He did nothing about it.

Why did he do nothing about it? He was told it was Russia by the CIA, as I understand it -- it was well reported; and he did nothing about it. They say he choked.

Well, I don’t think he choked. I think what happened is he thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the election and he said, let’s not do anything about it. Had he thought the other way, he would have done something about it.

Trump said, “the real question is why did he (Obama) do nothing from August all the way to November?”

Hallie Jackson asked a follow-up question, noting that the U.S. intelligence community has been definitive about Russian interference. "Why won't you agree with them and say it was?" she asked.

Trump said, "Mistakes have been made" by the intelligence community, and “nobody knows for sure.” He noted that the intelligence community was wrong about Iraq having WMDs "and it led to a mess."

He repeated that the election interference came from Russia, "and I think it was probably others, too." And he asked again why Obama did nothing about it.

As the news conference ended, Jackson kept trying to ask a follow-up question, but Polish moderators cut her off, reminding her that she’d already asked her two questions.

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