Donald Trump’s press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda turned to Russiagate as a US journalist tried to pound Trump on the Russia issue while inside Europe’s presently and historically most anti-Russian country. Clearly there was an attempt to stir tensions unnecessarily on the part of the reporter.
Trump reiterated his repeated statements that alleged election meddling could have been the work of Russia and/or any number of state or non-state actors. It is important to say alleged election meddling as no one has yet been able to prove a causal relationship between the hacking of DNC emails and the results of the election. This is a crucial point that Trump’s opponents in the US perpetually ignore.
When asked about the now notorious story of ’17 US intelligence agencies’ that claimed Russia interfered in the US election, Donald Trump said
“Do we even have that many agencies…it turns out it was three or four..many of your compatriots (MSM journalists in the US) had to retract (the claim)”.
Trump then repeated that while it may have been Russia, “nobody really knows” who is behind the leaked information from the DNC which was passed to Wikileaks.
Many have suspected that the leaks came from the DNC staffer Seth Rich who was murdered on 10 July, 2016 under circumstances that remain mysterious and suspicious. Rich was subsequently discovered as having multiple email communications with Wikileaks.
Donald Trump devoted the majority of his answer to the ‘Russian hacking’ question to criticising Barack Obama. Trump stated that if Obama was so sure there was Russian meddling, than the former US President bears responsibility for doing nothing about it from the period of August 2016 up through November of 2016. He stated that while many say “Obama choked”, the real reason for Obama’s lack of initiative on the issue was due to the fact that Obama felt certain that Hillary Clinton would eventually win the election.
Donald Trump then compared the certainty that many in the US have in respect of ‘Russian hacking’ to the people who were “100% sure” that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, a claim which was subsequently exposed as a lie. Donald Trump admonished people to remember that believing the Iraq WND lie led to what he called “one big mess” and encouraged people to be less sure of an issue that remains unverified.
At that point the Polish President said that the press conference was over, but not before the same US journalist shouted at Trump asking him why he does not criticise Russia. The Polish President at that point sternly stated that the press conference was over.
During the press conference Donald Trump also promised severe retaliation against North Korea in the aftermath of its launch of an intermediate range ballistic missile, though he did not specify what that would entail.
Donald Trump also said that he was not prepared to offer guarantees that US troops would remain stationed in Poland for the foreseeable future.