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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline 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 PutinThe US must not lose the cyberwar with Russia Chechen leader: Macron's stance on Muhammad cartoons 'forcing people into terrorism' Russia implements national mask mandate as coronavirus cases rise 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 ComeyGOP former US attorneys back Biden, say Trump 'threat to rule of law' Biden's polling lead over Trump looks more comfortable than Clinton's Trump has list of top intelligence officials he'll fire if he wins reelection: report MORE, proven liar James ClapperJames Robert ClapperIs America ready to return to the Obama-Biden foreign policy? Why the Nobel Prize shows the US and China need to work together on gene editing Trump suggests Gold Star families could have infected him MORE, & perhaps the lowest of them all, Wacko John BrennanJohn Owen Brennan50 former intelligence officials warn NY Post story sounds like Russian disinformation Not treason, not a crime — but definitely a gross abuse of power Trump fires off dozens of tweets while recuperating at White House 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 BidenHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline Overnight Defense: Trump campaign's use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings 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.