Trump: I'm 'concerned' Russia may interfere in midterms to help Democrats

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 Tuesday said he is "very concerned" that Russia will attempt to interfere in this year's midterm elections, claiming Moscow "will be pushing very hard" to support Democrats.

The tweet is the latest in a week's worth of mixed messages Trump has sent on Russia since he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin last Monday.

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Trump stood next to Putin in Helsinki and cast doubt on the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election — with the intention of helping to elect Trump. He blasted the special counsel's investigation into Russian meddling as a "witch hunt" and said Putin offered a "strong and powerful" denial.

He has since attempted to backtrack on those remarks and express confidence in the intelligence community, but muddled his corrections with repeated claims that the meeting with Putin was unfairly covered, that others besides Moscow could have been involved in election meddling and that the Russian interference is a “big hoax.”

Trump also appeared to tell reporters “no” when asked last week whether he believed Russia was still a threat. However, the White House later claimed he was saying “no” to answering additional questions.

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 warned shortly before Trump's meeting with Putin that warning signs were "blinking red" to indicate Russia was preparing to launch another cyberattack.

Trump has regularly claimed that no president has been tougher on Russia than him, but he has drawn bipartisan criticism for his reluctance to call out Putin, particularly on the matter of election interference.

Administration officials have, in many cases, seemed to work around Trump’s rhetoric. They note the administration has armed Ukrainians, bombed Syria, expelled Russian diplomats and even implemented new sanctions, to which Trump first objected.

Meanwhile, Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal Break glass in case of emergency — but not for climate change Democrats join GOP in pressuring Biden over China, virus origins MORE (R-Fla.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenSenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Civil rights activist Gloria Richardson dies Senate Democrats hit speedbumps with big spending plans MORE (D-Md.) have co-authored a bill that would hit Russia with additional sanctions if it is found to have interfered in future elections. The senators have requested a committee vote on the legislation by early next month.

The president has also frequently told reporters that he believes improved relations with Russia would be a positive development, and said prior to departing for Europe earlier this month that he hoped Putin could someday be a friend.

At the press conference in Finland, Putin told reporters he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election.

"Yes, I did, because he was the one who wanted to normalize relations with Russia,” Putin said.