Trump: ‘Russia was against Trump in the 2016 election’

Trump: ‘Russia was against Trump in the 2016 election’
© Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday insisted Russia never wanted him to be president, a claim he says means Moscow did not collude to influence the 2016 election on his behalf.

He made the connection in a tweet about the firm behind a controversial dossier filled with salacious allegations about Trump. The firm, Fusion GPS, “also worked for Russia,” according to a news story Trump re-tweeted.

“In other words, Russia was against Trump in the 2016 election - and why not, I want strong military & low oil prices,” Trump commented. He has previously claimed Russian leadership would have preferred someone like his Democratic rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhy Trump's bigoted tropes won't work in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm MORE to lead the country. 

“Witch hunt!” Trump continued, repeating his derogatory description of the federal investigation into possible ties between his campaign and the Kremlin.

The dossier, commonly referred to as the Steele dossier after the former British spy Christopher Steele who compiled it, is filled with unsubstantiated claims about Trump supposedly based in part on surveillance in Moscow. Steele was hired by the firm Fusion GPS to create the dossier during the 2016 presidential campaign.

ADVERTISEMENT

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony claiming that Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and others evaded registering as foreign agents even though the firm worked on part of an influence campaign to overturn the Magnitsky Act, which was passed to punish Russian officials in 2012.

The White House subsequently brought up the testimony, linking it to the dossier, in a press briefing.

"Today there was public testimony that further discredited the phony dossier that's been the source of so much of the fake news and conspiracy theories, and we learned that the firm that produced it was also being paid by the Russians,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said

The firm this week accused the White House of trying to "smear" it for investigating the president's alleged ties to Russia. The company called it “a nonsensical argument that Russia had an agent investigate and expose Russia’s influence on the election.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Fusion GPS founder Simpson for testimony.