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

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOmar asks Twitter what it's doing in response to Trump spreading 'lies that put my life at risk' O'Rourke responds to Buttigieg's gun criticism: 'That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place' O'Rourke's debate moment reignites gun debate on Sunday shows MORE on Friday slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report 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) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation 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 ClintonQueer Marine veteran launches House bid after incumbent California Rep. Susan Davis announces retirement Poll: Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Florida Former immigration judge fined, temporarily banned from federal service for promoting Clinton policies MORE to the Trump campaign at a Trump Tower meeting with the president’s son Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDemocrats introduce bill to block taxpayer-funded spending at Trump properties Trump dismisses NYT explanation on Kavanaugh correction The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico MORE, son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy The Hill's Morning Report - 2020 Democrats set for Lone Star showdown Exclusive: Kushner tells GOP it needs to unify behind immigration plan MORE and then-campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortLewandowski refuses to say whether Trump has offered him a pardon Democrats return to a battered Trump Manafort's legal team argues NY prosecution constitutes double jeopardy 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 PutinTrump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy Feehery: Impeachment fever bad for Democratic governing vision Taliban travels to Moscow after Trump declares talks dead 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.