CNN’s Jim Sciutto claimed Wednesday that President Trump never told Russian President Vladimir Putin not to interfere with the upcoming election, but video suggests the liberal network’s anchor was wrong.
Sciutto was in the middle of a confrontational interview with Trump 2020 press secretary Hogan Gidley when he made the claim.
“Can I ask you why the president has not yet warned Russia… U.S. intelligence community has assessed that Russia is again interfering with the election with the intention of damaging his Democratic opponent as they did in 2016,” Sciutto said. “Why hasn’t the president taken the simple step of warning Russia from interfering in the election?”
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Gidley shot back, “He’s talked about that many times,” when the CNN anchor interrupted.
“He has never warned Russia,” Sciutto said. “He’s never warned Russia.”
A dumbfounded Gidley told Sciutto he was wrong.
“That is incorrect, I swear,” Gidley said.
“When has the president uttered the words, ‘Russia, do not interfere in our election?’ If he has, I will happily play that tape on this broadcast,” Sciutto said.
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“Good, and I am going to hold you to that. You guys have to stop peeing on my boot and telling me it’s raining. The fact is, the president said that to Vladimir Putin, it’s on tape,” Gidley said. “He literally said, ‘Don’t meddle in our elections.’”
In June 28, 2019, Trump met face-to-face with Putin and told his counterpart not to “meddle” in the 2020 elections.
Trump, who was seated next to Putin, was asked by a reporter if he would tell “the Russian president to not meddle in the election.” There was some cross-talk in the room at the time. Trump responded, “Of course I will. Don’t meddle in the election, president. Don’t meddle in the election.”
Both presidents chuckled during the exchange, though, and some critics argued Trump didn’t take a serious enough tone with Putin.
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CNN did not immediately respond when asked if it would play the video on air.
Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.