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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address 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 CoatsFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Trump declassification move unnerves Democrats Hillicon Valley: Facebook co-founder calls for breaking up company | Facebook pushes back | Experts study 2020 candidates to offset 'deepfake' threat | FCC votes to block China Mobile | Groups, lawmakers accuse Amazon of violating children's privacy MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump Citizenship and Immigration Services head out at agency Congressional Hispanic Caucus demands answers on death of migrant children Trump expected to tap Cuccinelli for new immigration post 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) Swan MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' 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.