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Trump slams former intelligence officials to explain 'reluctance to embrace' agencies

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE on Tuesday defended his "reluctance to embrace" United States intelligence agencies as he continues to question the latest reports that Russia is meddling in the 2020 election.

Trump, in a pair of tweets, said it is "not true" that he trusts Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinNavalny lawyers say prison threatening to force-feed Kremlin critic Bay of Pigs has lessons for our time Blinken to return to Brussels to discuss Russia, Ukraine tensions MORE more than American intelligence officials, but offered an explanation for why that might be acceptable, slamming a number of former intelligence officials.

"[I]f the first people you met from so called American Intelligence were Dirty Cops who have now proven to be sleazebags at the highest level like James ComeyJames Brien ComeyShowtime developing limited series about Jan. 6 Capitol riot Wray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges MORE, proven liar James ClapperJames Robert Clapper140 national security leaders call for 9/11-style panel to review Jan. 6 attack The biggest example of media malfeasance in 2020 is... Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community MORE, & perhaps the lowest of them all, Wacko John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal Online and frighteningly real: 'A Taste of Armageddon' MORE who headed the CIA, you could perhaps understand my reluctance to embrace!" Trump tweeted.

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Trump has faced criticism throughout his first term for casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence community, specifically its findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. The president drew intense bipartisan backlash for questioning those findings during a 2018 joint press conference with Putin.

It’s no surprise that @realDonaldTrump shares Putin’s deep disdain for Americans who served their country & countered Russian efforts to undermine U.S. national security," Brennan responded on Twitter. "Trump continues to do neither."

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The president's distrust of the intelligence community has been put back in the spotlight after the top U.S. counterintelligence official announced last week a series of foreign threats facing the 2020 presidential election, including that Russia is using a range of measures to "primarily denigrate" former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Biden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan The business case for child care reform MORE in his campaign for the White House.

The report also found that China prefers that Trump fail in his reelection bid and that Iran is seeking to sow chaos.

Asked about the report over the weekend, Trump claimed Russia would prefer to see Biden in office, contradicting the intelligence report.

When a reporter asked Monday if he'd brought up election meddling directly with Putin, Trump again dodged. 

"You know what I'm telling you? I'll tell you who's meddling in our elections. The Democrats are meddling by wanting and insisting on sending mail-in ballots where there's corruption all over the place," Trump said, repeating his inaccurate claims about mail voting.

Updated at 12:21 p.m.