Sep 23, 2020 - World

H.R. McMaster: Trump "making it easy" for Putin on U.S. election misinformation

National Security Advisor to the President H. R. McMaster during a discussion on Syria in 2018.
Former National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster in Washington, D.C., in 2018. Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

H.R. McMaster told CNN Tuesday evening President Trump and other U.S. leaders are "making it easy" for Russian President Vladimir Putin to peddle conspiracy theories on the U.S. election and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

What he's saying: "It's just wrong ... it's really important for leaders to be responsible about this because, really, as you know Putin doesn't create these divisions in our society, he doesn't create these doubts, he magnifies them," Trump's former national security adviser told CNN's Jake Tapper.

  • "And we just have to be really careful not to be our own worst enemies."

The big picture: FBI Director Chris Wray told Congress last Thursday that the bureau has seen "very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020," primarily to "denigrate" Trump's Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden and "what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment."

The other side: Trump responded to Wray's testimony, by tweeting that "you don't see any activity from China, even though it is a FAR greater threat than Russia, Russia, Russia" before going on to insist that they and others would "be able to interfere in our 2020 Election without totally vulnerable Unsolicited (Counterfeit?) Ballot Scam."

  • On Monday, Trump said at a rally in Ohio that Putin "likes" him. "We get along," he said. "Wouldn't you say it's smart to get along? OK? It's smart."

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