Donald Trump DENIES being told US intelligence believes Russia seeks to boost him in 2020 elections

Donald Trump DENIES being told U.S. intelligence believes Russia is seeking to boost Bernie Sanders and predicts Vermont senator will be the Democratic nominee ‘unless they cheat him out of it’ – and wants Adam Schiff investigated for leak

  • President Trump congratulated Bernie Sanders on his victory in the Nevada caucuses
  • He predicted Sanders would win the Democratic nomination ‘if they don’t cheat him out of it’
  • He said he was not briefed that Russia was trying to help Sanders 

President Donald Trump has denied getting told by to intelligence officials that Russia is intervening in the 2020 primaries and – following an explosive report about a Capitol briefing on Russia’s intentions.

‘Nobody said it to me at all,’ Trump told reporters at the White House Sunday as he departed for a trip to India, asked if he has been briefed that Russia is trying to help Sanders.

Trump also blasted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, who served as the lead House impeachment manager and whose committee got a briefing with a top intelligence official that led Trump to dress down outgoing Director of Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., before his departure to India, February 23, 2020. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

‘They ought to investigate Adam Schiff for leaking that intelligence,’ Trump said. 

Trump’s comments about the Democratic nomination fight comes as party leaders see a path victory for the independent from Vermont and self-described democratic socialist, with some warning it could crush Democrats running down on the ticket.  

It is a party rift that Trump is eager to exploit. Asked if Sanders would be the nominee, Trump responded: ‘I think so – unless they cheat him out of it.’

Trump’s remarks about intelligence briefings were echoed by Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, who told ‘Fox News Sunday’: ‘The intelligence community has not told us that Russia is trying to elect Donald trump.’

But Short also confirmed that Trump blasted MaGuire over the briefing with the Intelligence Committee, where an aide to Maguire told lawmakers during questioning that Russia intended to interfere in primaries, according to the New York Times. 

Said Short: ‘The president did question because he said, ‘Why did they get a briefing before I did?” said Short. 

Trump also congratulated Sanders on his big win in the Nevada caucuses.  

‘I hope they treat him fairly,’ Trumps said. ‘I hope it’s not going to be a rigged deal because there’s a lot of bad things going on,’ he said, without explanation.

Asked if he was concerned about Russian interference in the elections, Trump instead spoke about efforts he thinks the Democrats are undertaking to deprive Sanders the party’s nomination.

‘I think what it could be, the Democrats are treating Bernie Sanders very unfairly. And it sounds to me like a leak from Adam Schiff because they don’t want Bernie Sanders to represent them,’ Trump said. ‘It sounds like it’s ’16 all over again for Bernie Sanders. And he won he had a great victory yesterday. But you know what’s happening, you can see the handwriting on the wall,’ he added.

Trump also made comments suggesting Maguire was not dismissed over his own fury about the Russia briefing. ‘He’s a very nice man. His time came up so he had to leave on March 11,’ he said, pointing to Maguire’s acting status as director of national intelligence. 

Asked about his latest thoughts on a potential pardon for longtime advisor Roger Stone, Trump said the jury was tainted – pointing to a juror who had tweeted about the case and ran as a Democrat for Congress in 2012. 

‘I’ve seen a very sad thing going on with respect to Roger Stone,’ Trump said. ‘You have a juror that’s obviously tainted.’