President Trump acknowledged this week that in 2018 he authorized a covert U.S. cyberattack against a Russian “troll farm,” according to a report.
The Washington Post previously reported about the attack in February 2019 but this week’s interview was the first time the president confirmed his involvement.
In an interview with Post columnist Marc A. Thiessen, Trump said he OK’d the U.S. operation after receiving an intelligence report about Russia’s activities.
The attack targeted Russia’s Internet Research Agency, the St. Petersburg organization that led Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election and was repeating its efforts ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, The Washington Post reported.
“Look, we stopped it,” the president said, contrasting his action with what he claimed was former President Barack Obama’s reluctance to take action in 2016.
According to Thiessen, Trump claimed Obama “said nothing” about Russian interference that year because he thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the race for the White House against Trump.
Trump said Obama “knew before the election that Russia was playing around. Or, he was told. Whether or not it was so or not, who knows? And he said nothing. And the reason he said nothing was that he didn’t want to touch it because he thought [Clinton] was winning because he read phony polls. So, he thought she was going to win.
“And we had the silent majority that said, ‘No, we like Trump,’” the president added.