President Trump appeared to acknowledge Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign while criticizing the Obama administration’s response to a Russian interference campaign he has repeatedly denied took place.
In a tweet Friday night, Mr. Trump wrote that President Obama “knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia” and “did nothing about it.”
The tweet came after Mr. Trump expressed similar criticism of his predecessor in an interview with Fox News.
“I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it,” Mr. Trump said in an excerpt of the interview, airing in full on Sunday. “But nobody wants to talk about that.”
The comments marked a rare admission by Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly declined to say definitively that Russia interfered in the 2016 campaign. Asked on Friday whether Mr. Trump believes the Russians interfered in the election, White House press secretary Sean Spicer referred reporters to a January press conference in which Mr. Trump said “I think it was Russia” when asked about hacking.
Congressional investigators and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating possible collusion between Russia and Trump campaign officials, inquiries the president has called a “total scam,” a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.”