Politics

Trump Appears to Finally Admit Russia Meddled in Presidential Race

President demands an apology, saying investigators have no evidence of collusion

President Donald Trump is accusing former President Barack Obama with opting against responding to Moscow's meddling in the U.S. presidential election.(Wikicommons)

President Donald Trump for the first time appeared to definitively acknowledge an unanimous U.S. intelligence community conclusion that Russia interfered in America's 2016 presidential election.

He even demanded an apology from those investigating the matter.

Trump has resisted stating clearly that he agress with the intelligence agencies he now leads on Russia's election meddling. But that seemed to change on Monday with an apparent Twitter admission that also included a charge that former President Barack Obama with doing “NOTHING about Russia after being notified by the CIA of meddling.”

Why?

“He expected Clinton would win,” Trump tweeted about his predecessor.

Though his White House communications team has begun referring just about every question related to Russia’s election meddling to Trump’s private legal team, Trump used two Monday morning tweets to yet again weigh in.

A former Obama administration official recently told the Washington Post that the 44th president and his team “choked” in not reacting to Russia before after the U.S. general election. Trump on Monday shot back, tweeting that Obama “didn't ‘choke,’ he colluded or obstructed, and it did the Dems and Crooked Hillary no good.”

A frequent critic of media coverage, Trump tweeted that the “real story” is Obama “did NOTHING after being informed in August about Russian meddling.”

The president later tweeted that those investigating the Russian meddling, which includes Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and two congressional committees, should apologize to him.

He wrote they have had the Russia matter “under a magnifying glass” for four months but have uncovered “zero ‘tapes’ of T people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given apology!”

Earlier Monday morning, Josh Earnest, Obama’s last White House press secretary, charged congressional Republicans with being resistant to the administration’s pre-election attempts to respond to Moscow’s actions.

[(VIDEO) Trump, Pence and Impeachment: A Conversation on Palace Intrigue]

Earnest charged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with refusing to schedule a briefing with then-CIA Director John Brennan, saying that left the White House “hamstrung” in trying to fashion a response during a hotly contested election.

“The notion that Leader McConnell would not meet with then-Director Brennan is ridiculous,” McConnell spokesman David Popp said Monday.

Meantime, Trump continued his recent assault on congressional Democrats, again labeling the minority party in both chambers “OBSTRUCTIONISTS” and charged them with having “no policies.”

Last Wednesday night at a campaign-style rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump offered this self-assessment of his recent harsh critique of Democrats: “Who cares?” He was back at during his usual morning twitter session.

The president tweeted that Washington Democrats have become “nothing but” a party that aims to block his and Republicans’ agenda. Democrats “have no policies or ideas,” Trump wrote. “All they do is delay and complain.They own ObamaCare!”

[Analysis: Mike Pence Works the Trenches]

The latter comment is notable because it comes as Senate Republicans could face a tough vote on a controversial measure crafted by the chamber’s GOP leadership team that proposes to partially repeal and replace Barack Obama’s 2010 health law. McConnell appears shy of the 50 votes needed to pass the measure with Vice President Mike Pence, as Senate president, casting the decisive 51st vote.

A failed vote later this week could sink the Trump-GOP health overhaul push — for now, at least. Trump often has talked publicly about allowing some of the flaws with the 2010 law to rise to a boil, claiming Democrats would rush to craft a bipartisan replacement package.

He did so again on Monday morning, tweeting that because Democrats are supplying no “help” or votes to pass the Senate GOP leadership bill, “Perhaps just let OCare crash & burn!”

Senior aides last week painted Trump as confident in McConnell’s ability to find 50 votes within his caucus, adding the president intends to continue calling GOP senators. He might also host some at the White House this week to help the majority leader twist arms.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.