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Trump turns Obama quote on election-rigging against him in Russia debate

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President Trump on Tuesday turned a 2016 quote from then-President Barack Obama against him in the ongoing battle over Russian interference in the election — claiming it shows Democrats are using the meddling as a belated “excuse” for losing. 

Trump cited remarks made by Obama at a press conference with then-Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi just weeks before the election, in which Obama advised then-candidate Trump to “stop whining” about potential election rigging.

“There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections, in part because they’re so decentralized and the numbers of votes involved,” Obama said.

Trump tweeted that quote Tuesday morning, citing it as proof Democrats’ attitudes changed after he won the election.

“When I easily won the Electoral College, the whole game changed and the Russian excuse became the narrative of the Dems,” he tweeted.

Trump’s remarks come after a federal grand jury on Friday indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies for allegedly interfering in the election, in a case brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that detailed a plot to “sow discord in the U.S. political system.”

TRUMP PUSHED BACK AGAINST ‘FAKE NEWS MEDIA’ COVERAGE OF RUSSIAN MEDDLING

While the indictment details a sustained campaign of meddling from the Russians, who posed as politically active Americans and recruited “real Americans” to stage rallies and engage in political activities, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein noted on Friday there is no allegation that Americans knowingly conspired with the Russians or that the meddling changed the outcome of the election.

In the wake of the indictment, Trump repeatedly hailed it as vindication of his claims that the election outcome was not affected and that collusion was a false narrative. He has sought to challenge Democrats who still suggest Russian interference could have swayed the final outcome in 2016. 

“Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!”

Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.



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Schumer calls on HHS Sec. Azar to resign over handling of coronavirus pandemic

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer called for Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar to resign over a report that HHS officials tried to modify nonpartisan weekly updates that show how the fight against Covid is going.

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Trump claimed he ‘up-played’ the coronavirus, despite being on tape saying otherwise

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President Trump told a voter he did not downplay the coronavirus in the early days of his administration’s Covid-19 response — though he’s been heard on tape saying he did — during an ABC News town with undecided voters on Tuesday.

“If you believe it’s the president’s responsibility to protect America, why would you downplay a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low-income families and minority communities,” a voter asked Trump.

Trump responded, “Yeah, well I didn’t downplay it. I actually, in many ways I up-played it in terms of action.” The voter appeared to try to follow up and remind the president he acknowledged downplaying the threat of the coronavirus pandemic in a taped interview with journalist Bob Woodward earlier this year.

The town hall, hosted by George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia, is one of the rare occasions Trump has sat down for questions with a news network other than Fox News. It is also one of the few moments the president has had to interact with undecided voters in a moderated setting.

Trump is in a bare-knuckled re-election battle against former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, while his poll numbers sagging as he continues to get low marks from voters for how he handled the response to the virus.

Trump’s about-face on his administration’s coronavirus response comes as taped interviews with journalist Bob Woodward were recently released in which the president acknowledged downplaying the threat, according to an account of Woodward’s new book.

“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump said in a March 19 call with Woodward, according to an audio clip posted Wednesday on The Washington Post’s website. The newspaper obtained a copy of the book, “Rage,” which was released this week.

In the same interview, Trump also acknowledged that the disease was more deadly than he publicly admitted.

“Now it’s turning out it’s not just old people, Bob. But just today, and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older,” Trump said, according to an audio clip, and then added, “young people, too, plenty of young people.”

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Israel signs historic diplomatic deal with UAE and Bahrain at White House

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The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are the first Arab nations to recognize Israel since 1994. President Trump called the deal the beginning of “a new Middle East,” but the agreement leaves out Palestine.

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