Spicer Won’t Say Whether Trump Thinks Russia Interfered In 2016 Election

Andrew Harnik/AP

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday refused to say whether President Donald Trump believes that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

“I have not sat down and talked to him about that specific thing,” Spicer said at his daily briefing. “Obviously we’ve been dealing with a lot of other issues today. I’d be glad to touch base and—”

“There’s 16 intelligence agencies that say that they did,” a reporter interrupted. “The former FBI director said that without a doubt the Russians interfered.”

“I understand, I’ve seen the reports,” Spicer replied.

“Does the President share those views?” the reporter pressed.

“I have not sat down and asked him about his specific reaction to them,” Spicer replied. “I’d be glad to touch base with him and get back to you.”

“Didn’t he say it was fake news, Sean? Didn’t the President say that Russia was fake news?” another reporter interjected.

Trump in January appeared to respond to explosive reports by CNN and BuzzFeed on unsubstantiated documents alleging that Russian operatives have compromising information on the President by calling it “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!”

During a press conference in February, Trump told reporters, “Russia is fake news. Russia — this is fake news put out by the media.”

In March, Trump slammed news reports on his campaign’s ties to Russian officials as “FAKE NEWS.”

Spicer did not reply to the reporter, and instead moved on to another question.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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