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Trump Blames Obama and Democrats for Failing to Stop Russian Meddling


The president has repeatedly seized on the fact that the efforts started before he became a candidate, but has glossed over the conclusion that they evolved toward supporting his candidacy. The indictment does not assert any wrongdoing by the president or anyone affiliated with him.

In another tweet on Sunday, Mr. Trump, who has tried since the campaign to sow doubts about who was behind the election intrusions, said that he had “never said Russia did not meddle in the election,” quoting a comment he made in a 2016 presidential debate.

“I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer,” Mr. Trump wrote. “The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia — it never did!”

Yet he has repeatedly denied that Russia was behind any meddling, even going so far in November as to suggest that he believed President Vladimir V. Putin’s denials of interference over the conclusions of American intelligence agencies.

“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Mr. Trump said at the time, calling questions about Moscow’s meddling a politically motivated “hit job.”

On Sunday, Mr. Trump also praised remarks by one of his chief antagonists, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, that criticized Mr. Obama’s muted response to the Russian threat. But at the same time he called the congressman “the leakin’ monster of no control.”

“Now that Adam Schiff is starting to blame President Obama for Russian meddling in the election, he is probably doing so as yet another excuse that the Democrats, lead by their fearless leader, Crooked Hillary Clinton, lost the 2016 election,” Mr. Trump wrote.

The president in the past has traded bitter Twitter messages with Mr. Schiff, accusing him of leaking classified information from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russia’s actions.

On Saturday, the president’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, said, referring to the Russian meddling, “With the F.B.I. indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain.”

In a late-night tweet on Saturday, Mr. Trump criticized General McMaster for not saying at the security conference in Germany where he was speaking that the election results had not been changed as a result of the Russian interference. The nation’s intelligence agencies believe that it is not possible to make such a conclusion.

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