Trump pulls up national security adviser over Russia probe remarks
McMaster said the FBI indictment of Russians was “incontrovertible” proof of Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, but omitted to say that it did not impact the final outcome.world Updated: Feb 18, 2018 23:16 IST
US President Donald Trump on Saturday publicly rebuked his national security adviser HR McMaster for omitting to say that while the FBI indictment of Russians was “incontrovertible” proof of Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 election, it did not impact the final outcome.
Earlier in the day, McMaster, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, had said that “with the FBI indictment, the evidence (of Russia’s interference) is incontrovertible and available in the public domain”.
Trump shot back with a tweet, writing that McMaster — with whom he has had problems — “forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems”, referring to his opponent Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.
For Trump, the omission was important — he has been loath to admit that the Russians did interfere in the elections, as he believes it questions the legitimacy of his presidency.
“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!” he tweeted.