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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? 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 Coats10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall 11 Essential reads you missed this week Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move 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 RubioGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads What the gun safety debate says about Washington Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE (R-Fla.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility USDA eases relocation timeline as researchers flee agency Fed to launch real-time payments system in 2023 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.