Trump: Obama didn't warn about Russia before election because 'it is all a big hoax'

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE on Sunday blamed his predecessor for the response to Russian election interference in 2016, which he appeared to call "a big hoax."

"So President Obama knew about Russia before the Election," Trump tweeted. "Why didn’t he do something about it? Why didn’t he tell our campaign?"

"Because it is all a big hoax, that’s why, and he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win!!!" 

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The statement follows Trump's insistence this week that he believes Russian operatives sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. 

Trump faced widespread pushback last week following a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which Trump appeared to cast doubt on the Kremlin's interference in the presidential race. Trump said Putin was "extremely strong and powerful in his denial" of Russian meddling and added he didn't see a reason why it "would" be Russia.

After days of intense criticism, Trump walked back the statement, claiming he meant to say he didn't see a reason why it "wouldn't" be Russia. Though he said he trusted the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia did interfere, he repeated a claim that other parties could have been involved in the meddling. 

Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsBiden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Former Trump officials including Fiona Hill helped prepare Biden for Putin summit: report Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenEx-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' MORE last week said publicly that Russia definitively interfered in the election. Nielsen said some level of Russian interference is still present, and Coats said there is "no doubt" Russia sees the November midterm elections as a potential target. 

The Trump-Putin press conference and ensuing blowback came days after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for conspiring to interfere in the 2016 election by hacking Democratic organizations and individuals.

Trump has deflected criticism about his performance in Helsinki, Finland, by criticizing former President Obama, continually claiming his administration did nothing when they received reports that Russia was conspiring to sow discord on U.S. soil. 

"The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration,” he tweeted last week. "Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?"

The Obama administration in 2016 accused Russia of deploying hackers during the presidential race and issued sanctions against the country for its actions. After the election, under Obama's orders, the major U.S. intelligence agencies issued a report stating that Russia was responsible for breaching U.S. systems. 

Obama has also claimed he told Putin to end Moscow's meddling in the U.S. electoral system.