President Trump clarified his support for the U.S. intelligence community on Saturday, saying, “I’m with our agencies” after he revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him during a meeting overseas that he did not meddle in the U.S. election, according to Fox News.
Trump said during a press conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang that he believes that “[Putin] feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the U.S. election.”
“As to whether I believe it, though, I’m with our agencies,” he continued.
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As he traveled to Hanoi, the second-to-last stop of his Asia trip, Trump told reporters that Putin “said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”
“Every time he sees me, he said: `I didn’t do that.’ And I believe — I really believe — that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said, calling the accusation an “artificial barrier” erected by Democrats.
The president lashed out at the former heads of the nation’s intelligence community, and said there were plenty of reasons to be suspicious of their findings.
“I mean, give me a break. They’re political hacks,” Trump said, citing by name James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, John Brennan, the former CIA director and his ousted ex-FBI director James Comey, whom Trump said was “proven now to be a liar and he’s proven to be a leaker.”