President Trump claimed Tuesday he wants “no help from any country” and has taken no help from any country ahead of the presidential election, as he capped off his whirlwind two-day trip to India with a press conference in New Delhi.
“I want no help from any country and I haven’t been given any help from any country,” Mr. Trump said, asked whether he can pledge to the American people that he won’t receive foreign aid in the 2020 presidential election.
However, in July 2019 Mr. Trump asked Ukraine’s president to do him a favor and investigate a political rival, during a now-infamous call that would launch an inquiry leading to his impeachment.
The president was also asked by CBS News White House correspondent Ben Tracy whether he believes Russia is still meddling in the 2020 presidential election. Mr. Trump did not directly answer, instead blasting the leaked information that led to the Washington Post’s report that Russia is trying to aid Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Sanders acknowledged he was briefed on this about a month ago. Mr. Trump expressed frustration that he wasn’t similarly briefed.
“What I”m reading … but they went to see Bernie and they told Bernie about something having to do with they want Bernie to win. They did not tell me, intelligence never told me,” the president told reporters. “… They never told me anything about that, and it was sort of a strange thing that they went to Bernie.”
Mr. Trump insisted that he has heard reports that Russia is supporting Mr. Trump’s reelection are “highly exaggerated,” and said, “they ought to stop the leaking from intelligence committee.” The president singled out House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, saying without citing evidence that he believes Schiff leaked the information.
On Tuesday, the president also addressed reports that he’s working to purge his administration of officials who don’t support him, claiming he doesn’t think “never-Trumpers” are a big problem for his administration.
“I don’t think its a big problem. I don’t think it’s very many people,” Mr. Trump said, adding he wants “people who are good for the country, loyal to the country.”
With fears of coronavirus sweeping the globe and hitting the markets, Mr. Trump claimed without elaborating that “we’re very close to a vaccine.” He also said that the coronavirus is well under control in the U.S. The White House on Monday night requested more than $2 billion from Congress to address the coronavirus outbreak. The Dow dropped roughly 1,000 points on Monday over coronavirus fears.
While in India, Mr. Trump has touted America’s ties with the country and his relationship with its prime minister, Narendra Modi.
“In America and in India, we know that we are all born for a higher purpose: to reach toward our fullest potential, to work toward excellence and perfection, and to give all glory to God,” Mr. Trump said at a Namaste Trump rally in Ahmedabad, India, on Monday. “Powered by this spirit, Indians and Americans are always striving to be greater, our people are always seeking to be better, and so our nations have become thriving centers of culture and commerce and civilization, giving light and vitality to all of the world.”
Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump earlier visited a former home of independence leader Mohandas Gandhi and toured the Taj Mahal Monday. The India trip is a first for Mr. Trump as president.
The international trip comes as Democrats prepare to spar against each other Tuesday night ahead of the big contest Saturday in South Carolina.
First published on February 25, 2020 / 6:24 AM
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