CNN's Jake Tapper: Trump's claims that campaign 'rebuffed' Russian outreach are 'a lie'

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperKlobuchar: I don’t think Trump should conduct ‘foreign policy by tweet’ Booker: I support Medicare for All, but I’m a ‘pragmatist’ CNN’s Jake Tapper: Trump’s claims that campaign ‘rebuffed’ Russian outreach are ‘a lie’ MORE on Friday slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpKamala Harris: Barr ‘lied to Congress’ Trump to Palestinians in Gaza: ‘End the violence and work towards peace’ O’Rourke: Mueller report affirmed need for impeachment against Trump MORE’s claims that his 2016 presidential campaign “rebuffed” outreach from Russian operatives. 

Tapper accused the president of continuing to “belittle” Russian election interference and spreading misconceptions about special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE‘s report that are “simply not true.”

Trump tweeted on Thursday that Mueller’s report “strongly stated that there was No Collusion with Russia (of course) and, in fact, they were rebuffed at every turn in attempts to gain access.”

…at every turn in attempts to gain access. But now Republicans and Democrats must come together for the good of the American people. No more costly & time consuming investigations. Lets do Immigration (Border), Infrastructure, much lower drug prices & much more – and do it now!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019

“It is not true that the Russians were rebuffed at every turn. It is a lie,” Tapper said during his show. “The Mueller report details any number of instances where the Russians were welcomed with open arms by members of the Trump team.”

Tapper pointed to Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian government lawyer who offered dirt on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders faces big problem with Biden and black voters Klobuchar is a worthy candidate, getting no attention Sanders declines to grade Obama presidency, but says he’s an ‘A+’ compared to Trump MORE to the Trump campaign at a Trump Tower meeting with the president’s son Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpCNN’s Jake Tapper: Trump’s claims that campaign ‘rebuffed’ Russian outreach are ‘a lie’ Hillicon Valley: Facebook nears settlement with FTC | Lawmakers push bill restricting border agency from selling data | Ocasio-Cortez backs Warren plan to break up tech giants Trump Jr accuses Facebook of ‘taking their censorship campaign to the next level’ MORE, son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerKushner’s Middle East mission impossible CNN’s Jake Tapper: Trump’s claims that campaign ‘rebuffed’ Russian outreach are ‘a lie’ Memo: Ex-White House official testified no one influenced decisions on security clearances MORE and then-campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortAdam Sandler’s ‘Opera Man’ returns to ‘SNL’ to mock ‘I make-a the wall’ Trump CNN’s Jake Tapper: Trump’s claims that campaign ‘rebuffed’ Russian outreach are ‘a lie’ Ukrainian Embassy confirms DNC contractor solicited Trump dirt in 2016 MORE.

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Tapper denounced the president for his repeated attacks on Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and slammed Trump for saying he did not confront Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinRussia’s sudden change of heart on AI Adam Sandler’s ‘Opera Man’ returns to ‘SNL’ to mock ‘I make-a the wall’ Trump Trump goes on tear, sharing tweets about Putin, North Korea’s Kim and far-right YouTube star MORE on election interference in a lengthy phone call between the two on Friday.

Trump said the two leaders discussed a range of topics, including trade, Venezuela and nuclear arms control, but did not discuss the Mueller report or Russia’s election interference.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that they briefly addressed the outcome of the report but lashed out at NBC’s Kristen Welker, who interjected to ask whether he had warned Putin not to interfere, telling her, “You are very rude.”

“We didn’t discuss that. Really, we didn’t discuss it,” Trump said when asked a second time.

Mueller’s 448-page report determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 election “in systematic fashion,” an effort that included a social media campaign and the release of stolen documents from key Democrats in order to aid Trump’s campaign.

There were multiple “Russian offers of assistance” to the Trump campaign. In some cases, the campaign was “receptive to the offer,” but at other times, “campaign officials shied away,” according to the special counsel.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, however, said last week that Russia is committed to interfering again in the 2020 election.

“Based on the president’s public statements and apparently his private ones with Vladimir Putin — the man who led and continues to lead cyber attacks on the United States — the president is more concerned with underlining that special counsel Robert Mueller was not able to find sufficient evidence that any members of his team engaged in criminal conspiracy with Russia than he is focused on this continued threat from Putin,” Tapper said.

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