WATCH: Trump Says Russia Is Not Still Targeting US Elections
President Trump declared Wednesday that no U.S. president has ever been as "tough" on Russia as his administration and said he doesn't believe Moscow is still targeting the U.S. political system.
"Is Russia still targeting the U.S.?" ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega asked Trump.
"Thank you very much, no," Trump answered, adding that the U.S. is doing "as well as anybody has ever done with Russia."
"There's been no president ever as tough as I have been on Russia," he said after cameras were allowed to be turned on after a White House cabinet meeting, where Trump sat next to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Just asked @realDonaldTrump if he believes Russia is still targeting the US.
His answer: "Thank you very much. No"
This after his own Director of National Intelligence said the threat is still ongoing.
— Cecilia Vega (@CeciliaVega) July 18, 2018
NEW-@CeciliaVega: "Is Russia still targeting the US?"
Pres Trump: Thank you very much, no.
(DNI Dan Coats statement Monday-"We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.")
— Karen Travers (@karentravers) July 18, 2018
Trump said Russian President Vladimir Putin is not pleased with new sanctions, expulsions of Russian diplomats from the U.S. and U.S. missile strikes against the Assad regime in Syria.
"He understands it and he's not happy about it," Trump said.
Melissa Francis responded on "Outnumbered" by saying it would be "insane" for the president to assert that Russia is not targeting the midterm elections as it did in the 2016 presidential election.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Monday in a statement that the threat from Russia is "ongoing."
"We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security," he said, hours after Trump questioned the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC's emails.
Trump clarified the controversial remarks Tuesday, saying he misspoke and that he believes the U.S. intelligence community's conclusions.
Watch the comments above.
UPDATE: Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday afternoon that Trump did not say Russia was no longer targeting the U.S. elections.
Sanders said Trump was saying "no" to answering more questions.