After President Donald Trump again cast doubt on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election on Saturday, Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo issued a statement contradicting the commander-in-chief’s remarks.
“The Director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment entitled: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections,” a CIA spokesperson told CNN. “The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed.”
Trump suggested that the assessment was not so definitive, telling reporters accompanying him to an economic summit in Vietnam that Russian President Vladimir Putin said “he absolutely did not meddle in our election.”
“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 after holding brief meetings with Putin on the sidelines of the summit.
The President also lashed at the leaders of U.S. intelligence agencies, as he has in the past. Trump dismissed the former heads of those agencies, which concluded that Russia intervened in the presidential race to swing it in his favor, as “political hacks.”