NEWS

Trump Casts Doubt On Russian Election Hacking Ahead Of Putin Meeting

06/07/2017 8:39 PM AEST | Updated 06/07/2017 11:39 PM AEST
Karol Serewis/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images
WARSAW, POLAND JULY 06: (SOUTH AFRICA AND POLAND OUT): The President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda meets the President of the United States Donald J. Trump on July 06, 2017 in Warsaw, Poland. The Polish President is the host of the Three Seas Initiative Summit in Warsaw (Photo by Karol Serewis/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump cast doubt on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election ahead of his first state meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

While speaking to reporters at a press conferenced in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, Trump was asked why he has generally shied away from castigating the Kremlin for attempting to hack the November election.

Trump replied, “I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries.”

“I see nothing wrong with the statement,” he added. “Nobody really knows, nobody really knows for sure.” 

Earlier this year, U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Putin directed cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee before the election in hopes of bringing down Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent.

The FBI and Congress have been investigating the Trump campaign’s communications with Russian officials for months. Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser and close Trump ally, resigned in February over his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Trump arrived in Poland late on Wednesday to meet with Central and Eastern European leaders before delivering an address to the public on Thursday. In his speech, he touted U.S.-Polish relations while also attacking NATO and claiming that he won the Polish American vote in November’s election.

On Friday, he will meet with Putin and other world leaders at a G-20 summit in Germany. There’s no official agenda for his meeting with Putin, but he’s expected to bring up Russia’s role in the Syrian civil war as well as its annexation of Crimea.

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