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Trump Says 'I Think It Was Russia' And 'Others Also' In Election Meddling

President Trump speaks during a news conference with Poland's President Andrzej Duda on Thursday in Warsaw.
President Trump speaks during a news conference with Poland's President Andrzej Duda on Thursday in Warsaw.

President Trump spent much of his first news conference in Poland assailing the media and his predecessor, amid some criticism of Russia's actions abroad.

Trump is in Poland for a brief visit ahead of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday.

Appearing next to Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trump accused Russia of "destabilizing behavior" in a rare criticism of the country. Trump has repeatedly said he wanted to improve relations between Russia and the U.S.

When asked if he could definitively say Russia interfered in the U.S. election, Trump responded that "I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people in other countries."

He added, "I think it could very well have been Russia but I think it well could have been other countries and I won't be specific."

He later said that "nobody really knows for sure," and separately, "it was Russia, and I think it was probably others also."

He refrained from heavily criticizing Russia for any election interference and instead directed his ire toward former President Barack Obama. Trump said the CIA briefed Obama about election meddling in August of last year, but Obama "did nothing about it."

"Why did he do nothing from August all the way to Nov. 8?" Trump said, saying the reason was because Obama expected Hillary Clinton to win the presidency.

Earlier in the session, Trump spent time insulting the media, singling out CNN and saying "they have been fake news for a long time," and adding that "NBC is equally as bad."

Responding to a question about the ongoing threat of North Korea and its missile and nuclear programs, Trump said they "are behaving in a very, very dangerous manner."

"I have some pretty severe things that we're thinking about," he said, in response to the country's latest provocation, which this time was the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday.

Trump would not specify any U.S. action, stating, "I don't know, we'll see what happens" and "I don't draw red lines."

At the news conference, Trump also praised Poland for its military spending. Trump has criticized other European NATO members for not meeting the organization's goal of spending 2 percent of GDP on military capabilities.

Trump will meet other European leaders at Friday's G-20 summit, including his first personal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin since taking office in January.
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Jonese Franklin is the WFPL Program Director and host of All Things Considered. Email Jonese at jfranklin@lpm.org.