It’s not the first time Donald Trump has offered this argument when asked about Russian interference in the election, but … it’s the first time he’s done so in Poland, anyway. Trump flew out for a state visit to the nation on the eastern frontier of NATO, and one that has centuries of history with Russian “interference,” too, in order to boost bilateral relations ahead of the upcoming G-20 summit. During a presser with Polish President Andrzej Duda, a reporter asked whether he believed Russia interfered with the election, to which Trump responded, “I think it was Russia, and it could well have been other countries, and I won’t be specific.”
But Trump was just getting warmed up. He suggested that reporters start asking Barack Obama why he didn’t do anything about it after getting warned three months in advance of the election:
President Trump criticizes former President Obama's reaction to Russian interference in election pic.twitter.com/iqm0Pn0nu6
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 6, 2017
Mr. Trump then sought to stress that, “when President Obama found out about this (Russian hacking) in August, and the election was in November, that’s a long time, and he did nothing about it.”
He said he believed that Mr. Obama neglected to do anything about the hacking because, “he thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the election.”
For the most part, though, the presser hit the expected notes. Trump praised the Polish people and their dedication to freedom, and their loyalty to the US demonstrated in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Trump emphasized the US commitment to NATO in terms of protecting Poland, a commitment Duda himself noted in his own remarks as having been expressed privately by Trump as well. Trump again endorsed Article V by declaring the US “firmly behind” the mutual defense treaty, AFP further notes. Still, Trump encouraged NATO nations to invest more in their own defense as well as the common defense, and praised Poland’s decision to purchase more Patriot anti-missile systems.
And of course, Trump got in a couple of shots at CNN too, calling them “fake news,” and insisting that “we want to see a fair press.” That too, was a first for Trump in Poland, and stay tuned for more firsts in Germany at the G-20 summit this week.