CNN's Jake Tapper: Trump's claims that campaign 'rebuffed' Russian outreach are 'a lie'

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperJulia Louis-Dreyfus: 'We can't spend much time grieving' Ginsburg Pence aide dismisses concerns rushed vote on Trump nominee will hurt vulnerable senators Klobuchar: GOP can't use 'raw political power right in middle of an election' MORE on Friday slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE’s claims that his 2016 presidential campaign "rebuffed" outreach from Russian operatives. 

Tapper accused the president of continuing to "belittle" Russian election interference and spreading misconceptions about special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's report that are "simply not true."

Trump tweeted on Thursday that Mueller's report "strongly stated that there was No Collusion with Russia (of course) and, in fact, they were rebuffed at every turn in attempts to gain access."

"It is not true that the Russians were rebuffed at every turn. It is a lie," Tapper said during his show. "The Mueller report details any number of instances where the Russians were welcomed with open arms by members of the Trump team."

Tapper pointed to Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian government lawyer who offered dirt on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonButtigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot Poll: 51 percent of voters want to abolish the electoral college MORE to the Trump campaign at a Trump Tower meeting with the president’s son Donald Trump Jr.Don John Trump'Tiger King' star Joe Exotic requests pardon from Trump: 'Be my hero please' Zaid Jilani discusses Trump's move to cancel racial sensitivity training at federal agencies Trump International Hotel in Vancouver closes permanently MORE, son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerAbraham Accords: New hope for peace in Middle East Tenants in Kushner building file lawsuit alleging dangerous living conditions Trump hosts Israel, UAE, Bahrain for historic signing MORE and then-campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortOur Constitution is under attack by Attorney General William Barr Bannon trial date set in alleged border wall scam Conspicuous by their absence from the Republican Convention MORE.


Tapper denounced the president for his repeated attacks on Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference and slammed Trump for saying he did not confront Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinEx-Trump national security adviser says US leaders 'making it easy for Putin' to meddle The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting Putin calls on UN to strengthen World Health Organization MORE on election interference in a lengthy phone call between the two on Friday.

Trump said the two leaders discussed a range of topics, including trade, Venezuela and nuclear arms control, but did not discuss the Mueller report or Russia's election interference.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that they briefly addressed the outcome of the report but lashed out at NBC's Kristen Welker, who interjected to ask whether he had warned Putin not to interfere, telling her, "You are very rude."

"We didn’t discuss that. Really, we didn’t discuss it," Trump said when asked a second time.

Mueller’s 448-page report determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 election "in systematic fashion," an effort that included a social media campaign and the release of stolen documents from key Democrats in order to aid Trump's campaign.

There were multiple "Russian offers of assistance" to the Trump campaign. In some cases, the campaign was "receptive to the offer," but at other times, "campaign officials shied away," according to the special counsel.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, however, said last week that Russia is committed to interfering again in the 2020 election.

"Based on the president’s public statements and apparently his private ones with Vladimir Putin — the man who led and continues to lead cyber attacks on the United States — the president is more concerned with underlining that special counsel Robert Mueller was not able to find sufficient evidence that any members of his team engaged in criminal conspiracy with Russia than he is focused on this continued threat from Putin," Tapper said.