Trump Says Other Countries, Individuals ‘Probably’ Meddled in 2016 Election, Provides No Evidence

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that other countries, besides Russia, “probably” interfered in the 2016 election and that he wasn’t worried about Russia meddling in the 2018 midterms.

Related: Is Mueller closing in on Trump? Incidents involving president’s lawyer and Russia under scrutiny, report says

Russia has been found by multiple investigations and agencies to have sought to influence the last presidential election by backing candidates, including Trump, who opposed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. And intelligence officials have issued stark warnings that Russia will return to seek to impact the midterms this November.

Trump, though, has repeatedly cast doubt on both whether Russia interfered and, if they did, whether they had any impact.

“The Russians had no impact on our votes whatsoever,” Trump said at a press conference alongside Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven Tuesday, despite an ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the election. “Certainly there was meddling and probably there was meddling from other countries and other individuals and I think you have to be really watching very closely.”

On Tuesday, Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told a Senate committee that it’s “highly likely” that Russia will be “doing something” in the 2018 midterms, “we just don’t know how much and when and where.”


The president, though, suggested that everything was under control.

“You don’t want your system of votes to be compromised in any way and we won’t allow this to happen,” he said. “We’re doing a very, very deep study and we’re coming out with I think some very strong suggestions on the ’18 election.”

Pushed by a Swedish journalist about whether he was worried about Russia returning in 2018, Trump said: “No, because we’ll counteract whatever they do very strongly, and we’ll have strong backup systems.”

It was reported this week that the State Department has spent none of the $120 million it was allocated to fight Russian election interference. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has previously said that if Russia attempts to interfere in the election, there was little to be done to stop it.

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