As Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin has caused outrage and disbelief across the nation (and abroad), it seems that there is even a disconnect between the president and his team.
Trump has split from his administration members before on a variety of subjects, and today America saw yet another example of an administration that is sending conflicting messages. Yesterday, Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, did an interview with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, and contradicted the president’s previous comments about Putin and the election meddling.
While Trump has repeatedly said that he believed Putin was innocent (based on his discussions with the Russian leader), Bolton stated that it was “hard to believe” that Putin had no knowledge of the meddling in the 2016 election. Bolton brought up a conversation he’d had with Putin in June, in which Putin had “made it plain that he said the Russian state was not involved.”
Bringing up the recent Russian indictments, Karl asked Bolton if there was a way “we could have 12 officials, some of them quite senior in Russian military intelligence, carry out an operation to undermine a U.S. presidential election and Putin himself would not know?”
Bolton’s response was quite different from the president’s own stance. He said:
I find it hard to believe. But that’s what one of the purposes of this meeting is, so the president can see eye to eye with President Putin and ask him about it.”
You can watch the interview below:
National security adviser John Bolton tells @jonkarl he finds it “hard to believe” that Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin was unaware of Russian interference in 2016 presidential election https://t.co/JOS7ZruzNr #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/W7R42OrOjg
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 16, 2018
As Trump met with Putin today, the conflicting comments coming from within his administration could be construed as suspicious. Trump has taken the unpopular position of defending Putin, and it’s been a position that not even his administration members have felt comfortable defending.
Featured image via screen capture