July 13th, 2018
From Politico: Here is a look at Trump’s varying statements on whether Russia is to blame for meddling in the 2016 election:
The 400-pound mystery man: At the first presidential debate, on Sept. 26, 2016, Trump sought to cast doubt on reports that Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee — reports since confirmed by the intelligence community.
“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC,” Trump said at the time. “She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t — maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK? You don’t know who broke into DNC.”
“Maybe there is no hacking”: At the second presidential debate on Oct. 9, 2016, Trump again implied that Russia was not behind the hacking.
“She doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking,” Trump said of Clinton. “Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia. And the reason they blame Russia because they think they’re trying to tarnish me with Russia. I know nothing about Russia. I know — I know about Russia, but I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia. I don’t deal there. I have no businesses there. I have no loans from Russia.”
“A laughing point”: In an interview with Time Magazine on Nov. 28, 2016, Trump said of Russia: “I don’t believe they interfered. That became a laughing point, not a talking point, a laughing point.”
“I think it was Russia”: In a Jan. 11, 2017, news conference, Trump declared, “I think it was Russia” behind the hacking, though he left open the possibility that other countries were involved.
“Nobody really knows for sure”: In a news conference in Poland on July 6, 2017, Trump stated: “Well, I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people and other countries. It could have been [that] a lot of people interfered.” But, he added, “nobody really knows for sure.”
Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I’ve already given my opinion,” Trump wrote on Twitter on July 9 after meeting twice with Putin in Germany.
“He said he didn’t meddle … I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it”: After meeting with Putin in Asia, Trump spoke at length with reporters and again cast doubt on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
“He said he didn’t meddle,” Trump said. “He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. But I just asked him again, and he said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they’re saying he did.”
“Putin said he did not do what they said he did,” Trump added later. “And, you know, there are those that say, if he did do it, he wouldn’t have gotten caught, all right? Which is a very interesting statement.”
Trump continued: “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.”
“I believe in our intel agencies”: The day after saying he believed Putin was sincere in his denials, Trump said at a news conference: “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. I’ve worked with them very strongly.”
“It may be Russia, or China or another country or group”: “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400-pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!” Trump wrote on Twitter in February.
July 27th, 2016