President Donald Trump’s repeated claim that Russian hackers wouldn’t have gotten caught if they did hack Democratic groups reportedly came from Vladimir Putin himself, who told Trump at the G-20 summit that Russians are simply too skilled at spying and leaving no trace of their crime, The New York Times reported Monday.
On Sunday, White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that an anonymous source had told him that if Moscow hacked the Democratic National Committee, “you would have never seen it. You would have never had any evidence of them, meaning that they’re super-confident in their deception skills and hacking.”
“Wait, wait, wait,” Tapper interjected. “I don’t know who this anonymous person is.”
“How about it’s the president, Jake,” Scaramucci revealed. “He called me from Air Force One and basically said to me, ‘This is — maybe they did it, maybe they didn’t do it.’”
“This is exactly the issue!” Tapper said. “We have experts, the U.S. intelligence agencies [are] unanimous, both Obama appointees and Trump appointees — the director of national intelligence, the head of the National Security Agency, the head of the FBI. I mean, all of these intelligence experts, saying, Russia hacked the election, they tried to interfere in the election.”
The Times elaborated on the origin of the Russian hacker theory.
But when Mr. Trump met Mr. Putin in Hamburg, Germany, two weeks ago, he did not utter similar suspicions, at least in public. In fact, he emerged to tell his aides that the Russian president had offered a compelling rejoinder: Moscow’s cyberoperators are so good at covert computer-network operations that if they had dipped into the Democratic National Committee’s systems, they would not have been caught.
“As the phony Russian Witch Hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold, Democrats and Russians!” Trump tweeted Sunday.
Watch Scaramucci on CNN’s “State of the Union” below: