US President Trump has alleged that Russia will attempt to influence the upcoming elections in the US, but noted that Moscow is likely to "push for the Democrats" instead of the Republicans, since he has been more "tough" on Russia than anyone else.
I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2018
Trump's tweet comes hot on the heels of the much criticized press conference after his first one-on-one meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. During the conference the US president hinted that he trusts Putin's word, who had assured him that Russia had never meddled in US election, over his own intelligence agencies' reports.
Numerous lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, blasted Trump for his performance and that allegedly trusted the Russian president more than his own intelligence services. Trump later backtracked from some of his statements in Helsinki, claiming that he had misspoken and never meant to appear as though he did not trust the US intelligence agencies. He also said that he considers Putin "personally responsible" for meddling in the US election.
While commenting on the results of the one-on-one talks, both presidents called them highly productive and agreed to continue the dialogue. Days after the Helsinki summit, the White House announced that it is discussing inviting the Russian president to come to Washington this fall.