WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump promised on Tuesday to move strongly against any possible attempt by Russia to interfere in the midterm legislative elections in the United States this year.
Trump said it’s “old-fashioned but it’s always good to have a paper backup system of voting,” and promised to counteract “very strongly” any future meddling, when asked at about the problem at a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.
“We’re doing a very, very deep study and coming out with very strong suggestions on the 2018 election,” the president said, who nonetheless denied that the Kremlin could have influenced the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, which he won.
“The Russians had no impact on our votes whatsoever, but certainly there was meddling and probably there was meddling from other countries and maybe other individuals,” he said, adding that “I think you have to be watching very closely, you don’t want your system of votes to be compromised in any way, and we won’t allow that to happen.”
Investigations into Moscow’s suspected interference into the 2016 presidential elections, led by special counsel Robert Mueller, are closing in on Trump’s inner circle, while the president’s testimony in the matter remains a possibility.
US intelligence services have said that Russia maneuvered to influence the presidential election against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, though the investigations have not made it clear if there was collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign.
Meanwhile, US authorities have also warned that the Russians are operating campaigns to influence elections in other parts of the world.