Donald Trump playing golf at Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort during the President's first official visit to the United Kingdom on July 14, 2018 in Turnberry, Scotland. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

What President Trump says publicly on Russian hacking is no different from what he says privately.

Trump's view: Putin’s a bad guy, sure, but there are lots of bad guys in the world. Whatever! The president does not take the election-intrusion element of the Russian threat seriously — despite spin from administration officials that they’re taking it seriously. Trump sees the entire Mueller investigation as a “Deep State” (that’s the U.S government) plot to undermine his election victory and his presidency.

In tweet from Scotland this morning, Trump blames Obama:

  • "The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration. Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?"

White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement:

  • "Today’s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result. This is consistent with what we have been saying all along."

Earlier, we received this readout from Trump's private time with British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday, from a source familiar with their meeting:

  • Despite the awkwardness of Trump's criticism of her in a morning newspaper interview, the meeting was the warmest they've had by far.
  • Trump was said to be mortified by the Sun story, which maybe caused him to be more accommodating.
  • He started out by showing contrition, which set the tone for the day.
  • He publicly did what he rarely does — offered an apology.
  • He loved the pomp and circumstance, which put him in a good mood.
  • He remains obsessed about Germany and its gas pipeline deal with Russian, and continues hammering on it.

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Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.

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