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McMaster: Trump 'aiding and abetting Putin's efforts' at election interference

McMaster: Trump 'aiding and abetting Putin's efforts' at election interference
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Former Trump National Security adviser H.R. McMaster said Thursday that President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE is “aiding and abetting” Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinKeeping China out of Taiwan will take a tough stand from Biden Putin gets second dose of Russian vaccine: report Kremlin says Biden-Putin summit contingent on US behavior MORE in his effort to polarize Americans. 

“I agree that he is aiding and abetting Putin’s efforts by not being direct about this, by not just calling out Putin for what he’s doing,” McMaster said on MSNBC.

“This sustained campaign of disruption, disinformation and denial is aided by any leader who doesn’t acknowledge it," he continued. "This is why I think the president needs to be much stronger in condemning this effort to really reduce our confidence in who we are as a county.”

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Speaking of his new book “Battlegrounds,” the former Trump administration official said that the president is hesitant to address Russian interference because it could potentially raise doubts about his victory in the 2016 election. 

“We’ll never know that, but I think the president gets concerned with that question because he thinks that if he confronts Putin directly, he’ll inadvertently draw his own election into question,” McMaster said.  

McMaster also said that Trump “missed an opportunity” to condemn white nationalism during the presidential debate Tuesday night. 

“He missed a huge opportunity, right. It should be super easy to condemn white supremacists,” he said. “I think these extremist groups bring more people in and draw attention because there’s this perception that they're legitimate and not a fringe, hate-filled movement.”