United States President Donald Trump has alleged that in addition to Russia, China also meddled in the 2016 presidential elections. He made the statement during an interview on CBS News’s 60 Minutes programme.
When the reporter asked the president if he believed Russians interfered in the 2016 elections, Trump said Russians had meddled. “But I think China meddled too,” Trump said. The interview was recorded on Thursday and broadcast on Sunday night.
In September, Trump had alleged that China was trying to interfere in the 2018 mid-term polls, while chairing a United Nations Security Council meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. China has denied these allegations. This is the first time Trump has said that China meddled in the 2016 presidential elections.
“I think China meddled also,” he said. “And I think, frankly, China... is a bigger problem,” Trump said, while denying that he was trying to divert attention from Russia. “I’m saying Russia, but I’m also saying China.”
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was a key adviser for the Trump campaign in the run-up to the 2016 presidential elections, was questioned in the case of the alleged Russian meddling in the elections in January. Sessions later recused himself from the inquiry. “I was disappointed that he recused himself and many people think I was right on that,” Trump said. “I was very disappointed. Why should he have recused himself? So I was very disappointed.”
When asked about Robert Mueller’s investigation into the alleged Russian meddling, Trump said he has no intention of shutting it down. “But [I] will tell you, I have no intention of doing that,” he said. “I think it’s a very unfair investigation because there was no collusion of any kind.”
Thirty-two people have been charged or pled guilty in Mueller’s investigation. President Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michal Flynn and longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen are all cooperating in the inquiry.
On climate change
When asked about climate change, Trump backed off of his claim that it is a hoax but said he does not know if it is man-made either.
“I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s man-made. I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs.”
In June 2017, Trump withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, while appointing an unparalleled crew of climate-change deniers to his administration and reneging on President Barack Obama’s pledge by 2025 to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% (from 2005 levels).
The decision was met with global condemnation. Trump has regularly claimed that there is no real evidence to prove that climate change exists, and has often ridiculed those who believe it does.