Sean Spicer claims he has never discussed Russian hacking with Trump

White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during a briefing at the White House on Tuesday in Washington.
Source: Alex Brandon/AP
White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during a briefing at the White House on Tuesday in Washington.
Source: Alex Brandon/AP

In the first on-camera White House press briefing in over a week press secretary Sean Spicer responded to a question about Russian hacking in the 2016 election with an eyebrow-raising claim.

Reporter Trey Yingst of the conservative-leaning One America News Network asked Spicer point-blank if the president believes that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 elections. In response, Spicer claimed that in the five months since Trump took office, they have never discussed the matter.

"I have not sat down and talked to him about that specific thing," Spicer said. "Obviously we've been dealing with a lot of other issues today."

When pressed further on the issue, Spicer doubled down on his claim that he has not "sat down and asked" the president about the Russian hacking.

Sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies and the head of Homeland Security have all concluded that the Russian government was behind the hacking of the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign chair during the 2016 election.

In testimony before Congress earlier this month, former FBI Director James Comey testified that there was no doubt in his mind that Russia was behind the hacking.

Publicly, Trump has been all over the place on the issue of Russian hacking, implying at various times both that he believed Russians were behind the hacking and that he wasn't sure.

Trump’s handling of the Russia probe has greatly affected his support among his base. A recent CBS poll showed that only 57% of Republican voters approve of the president’s job rating with regard to the investigation.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Andrew Joyce

I cover politics and policy.

MORE FROM

Report: Rex Tillerson may drop Iraq, Myanmar from child soldiers list

Tillerson overruled his own staff, who said neither country has actually stopped using child soldiers.

Donald Trump is now blaming Obama for Russian election interference

Trump tweeted Obama "choked" on Russia, adding he thinks Obama was trying to protect Hillary Clinton.

Former Obama defense official: Russia hacks are "political equivalent of 9/11"

"I don't see much evidence of a response," Vickers added.

Groups spending millions to defeat Senate health care bill: "We win or lose over the next week"

"We've been hearing Republicans talk about repeal for seven years. It comes down to these next seven days."

CNN sent a sketch artist to Sean Spicer's off-camera press briefing

The sketch artist normally covers scenes from the Supreme Court.

The Trump administration just pulled funding from a group that fights white extremism

Right wing violence is heating up, and the Justice Department is looking the other way.

Report: Rex Tillerson may drop Iraq, Myanmar from child soldiers list

Tillerson overruled his own staff, who said neither country has actually stopped using child soldiers.

Donald Trump is now blaming Obama for Russian election interference

Trump tweeted Obama "choked" on Russia, adding he thinks Obama was trying to protect Hillary Clinton.

Former Obama defense official: Russia hacks are "political equivalent of 9/11"

"I don't see much evidence of a response," Vickers added.

Groups spending millions to defeat Senate health care bill: "We win or lose over the next week"

"We've been hearing Republicans talk about repeal for seven years. It comes down to these next seven days."

CNN sent a sketch artist to Sean Spicer's off-camera press briefing

The sketch artist normally covers scenes from the Supreme Court.

The Trump administration just pulled funding from a group that fights white extremism

Right wing violence is heating up, and the Justice Department is looking the other way.