WASHINGTON– President Donald Trump claimed on Twitter Thursday morning that Democrats “made up” stories on Russia in order to distract from his election win.
The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story – RUSSIA. Fake news!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2017
It’s unclear what, exactly, Trump is accusing the Democrats of making up.
In the closing days of the Obama administration, there was an unclassified report released by the intelligence community that determined that Russia had attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election to benefit Trump.
While Trump had been resistant to the idea that Russia had attempted to sway the race, he acknowledged during a press conference shortly before his election that he now believes Russia did intervene.
“I think it was Russian, but I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people,” Trump said.
Trump went on to reject an unverified dossier from a former British intelligence agent claiming that members of his inner circle had connections with Russian and that the country had disparaging information on him, calling it “fake news.”
On Monday night, National Security Adviser Mike Flynn stepped down from his position after acknowledging that he had given incomplete information to his colleagues on telephone conversations he held with Russian ambassador Sergey Kisylak.
Trump’s transition team had initially claimed the calls were not related to policy, but two reports last Friday claimed that the two had discussed sanctions.
On Tuesday, the New York Times released a report claiming that members of Trump’s team, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, had communicated with Russia a year before the election.
Manafort had denied the claim to the Times.
The Times said that while communication did take place, there is no evidence that Trump’s inner circle were complicit in efforts to interfere in the election.
Trump also blamed Flynn’s departure on the media and intelligence leaks, contradicting his own communication team that said Flynn’s resigned because the President’s trust with the former National Security Advisor was eroding.