Washington: US President Donald Trump remains unconvinced that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 election, the newly-appointed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said.
“He basically said to me, ‘Hey you know, this is, maybe they did it, maybe they didn’t do it,'” Scaramucci told CNN on Sunday night of a conversation he had with the President about alleged Russian interference.
Prior to Trump’s inauguration, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an unclassified report showing the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency all concluded the Russian government attempted to influence the election to bring down Hillary Clinton and help Trump.
Scaramucci suggested Trump does not yet accept the conclusion of the intelligence community and questioned the media’s pursuit of the story, saying it tarnished Trump’s victory in November.
“The mainstream media position on this, that they interfered in the election,” Scaramucci told CNN.
“It actually in his mind, what are you guys suggesting? You’re going to delegitimize his victory?”
Scaramucci said he intended to review the intelligence community’s evidence once he had his security clearance and pledged to give Trump his personal thoughts on the conclusions.
He said Trump would make up his own mind in time and that if Trump believed Russia was responsible for the 2016 efforts and a threat to future elections, he would act.
“A person that’s going to be super, super tough on Russia is President Donald Trump,” the Communications Director added.
Earlier on Sunday, Trump posted a tweet that called the Russia probe a “witch hunt”, saying Democrats were using the Russian hacking allegations as an “excuse for a lost election”.
“As the phony Russian Witch Hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold, Democrats and Russians!” he wrote.
In response, Democratic Senator Al Franken told CNN: “What can you say? It’s just bizarre.”