The FINANCIAL -- President Donald Trump has again suggested that Russia did not interfere in the election he won in 2016, days after saying he accepts the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia meddled.
In a tweet early on July 23, Trump wrote that his predecessor, Barack Obama, knew about allegations of Russian meddling before the November 2016 vote.
"Why didn't he tell our campaign? Because it is all a big hoax, that's why," Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that released a report in January 2017 saying they had concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a hacking-and-propaganda campaign targeting the election, according to RFE/RL.
After he drew strong criticism from U.S. lawmakers and others after appearing to side with Putin on the issue at their summit in Helsinki on July 16, Trump said he accepts the "intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place."
However, he added: "It could be other people also. A lot of people out there." Democrats in Congress dismissed the statement acknowledging Russia interfered in the election as political damage control.
U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the alleged Russian meddling as well as any possible collusion by Trump's campaign.
Trump denied there was any collusion and has described Mueller's probe as a "witch hunt" intended to detract from his election victory.
Russia claims it did not interfere in the election.
Three days before the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, U.S. authorities charged 12 Russian military intelligence officers they accuse of direct involvement in the election-meddling efforts.