Member Since: 1/14/07
Jan. 6, 2017 -- Trump releases a statement about the intelligence briefing that says, in part: "While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines."
Jan. 11, 2017 -- At a news conference a week before his inauguration, Trump states, "As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people. And I -- I can say that you know when -- when we lost 22 million names and everything else that was hacked recently, they didn't make a big deal out of that. That was something that was extraordinary. That was probably China. We had -- we had much hacking going on."
All of that was included in the Fox video montage. Trump goes on to criticize the DNC for not adequately defending itself against hacks. He suggests he did not believe the intent of the Russian effort was to help his campaign. "I think, frankly, had they broken into the Republican National Committee, I think they would've released it just like they did about Hillary and all of the horrible things that her people, like Mr. Podesta, said about her," Trump says, referring to Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.
He also says this: "But remember this: We talk about the hacking and hacking's bad and it shouldn't be done. But look at the things that were hacked, look at what was learned from that hacking."
Asked by a reporter if he accepted the intelligence report conclusion that Putin ordered the campaign because he wanted to help Trump, the president replies, "Well, if -- if Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability, because we have a horrible relationship with Russia."
April 29, 2017 -- Trump tells CBS News' John Dickerson, "[K]nowing something about hacking, if you don't catch a hacker, okay, in the act, it's very hard to say who did the hacking. With that being said, I'll go along with Russia. Could've been China, could've been a lot of different groups."
July 6, 2017 -- At a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw, Trump states at various points, "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 ... I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries ... It was Russia, and I think it was others also." Those comments were included in the Fox News montage Trump highlighted.
"I've said it very simply. I think it could very well have been Russia," Trump says. "I think it could well have been other countries. And I won't be specific. But I think a lot of people interfere. I think it's been happening for a long time. It's been happening for many, many years."
In the press conference, a reporter says, "You again state you think it was Russia. Your intelligence agencies have been far more definitive. They say it was Russia. Why won't you agree and say it was?"
Trump responds, in part, "I agree, I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure. I remember when I was sitting back listening about Iraq. Weapons of mass destruction. How everybody was 100 percent sure that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Guess what -- that led to one big mess. They were wrong and it led to a mess."
July 12, 2017 -- In an interview with reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump is asked about broaching the issue with Putin during the G20 summit. "And I said to him, 'Were you involved with the meddling in the election?' He said, 'Absolutely not. I was not involved.' He was very strong on it," Trump says. "I then said to him again, in a totally different way, 'Were you involved with the meddling?' He said, I was not -- absolutely not. ... Somebody said later to me, which was interesting. Said, let me tell you, if they were involved, you wouldn't have found out about it. Okay, which is a very interesting point."
Nov. 11, 2017 -- In a press gaggle aboard Air Force One, Trump is asked if he brought up the issue with Putin. Trump responds, "He just -- every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that.' And 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's very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth. Don't forget, all he said is he never did that, he didn't do that. I think he's very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country."
Asked whether he believed Putin, Trump says, "I think that he is very, very strong in the fact that he didn't do it. And then you look, and you look at what's going on with Podesta, and you look at what's going on with the server from the DNC and why didn't the FBI take it, why did they leave it; why did a third party look at the server and not the FBI -- if you look at all of this stuff, and you say, what's going on here? And then you hear it's 17 agencies. Well, it's three. And one is Brennan and one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks. So you look at it -- I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that, and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that. Now, you're not going to get into an argument. You're going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine."
In a press conference in Vietnam that same day, Trump is asked about his comment about Putin's denials and if he believes Putin and/or Russia interfered in the election. Trump says, "What I said there, I'm surprised that there's any conflict on this. What I said there is that I believe he believes that, and that's very important for somebody to believe. I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership. I believe in our intel agencies, our intelligence agencies."
March 6, 2018 -- In a press conference Trump states, "Well, the Russians had no impact on our votes whatsoever. But, certainly, there was meddling and probably there was meddling from other countries and maybe other individuals."
That was another comment included in the Fox montage. As we wrote when Trump said something similar on July 6, 2017 -- that the computer hacking "could have been other people and other countries" -- there is no evidence for that, and U.S. intelligence has named only Russia as the culprit.
May 27, 2018 -- Trump sends out a tweet referring to "the so-called Russian Meddling."
June 28, 2018 -- Trump tweets, "Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election! Where is the DNC Server, and why didn't Shady James Comey and the now disgraced FBI agents take and closely examine it? Why isn't Hillary/Russia being looked at? So many questions, so much corruption!"
July 16, 2018 --During a joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki, Trump says Putin denied involvement in an influence campaign. A reporter pointedly asks Trump whether he believes U.S. intelligence agencies or Putin.
Trump begins his response by questioning why the DNC failed to turn over its servers to FBI investigators (though the former FBI director testified last year that it did not hurt the investigation, which on July 13 resulted in an indictment against 12 Russian military intelligence agents).