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Event | May 19, 2017

Why Should the United States Care About Ukraine?

Join the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) for an expert panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities for foreign assistance in Ukraine going forward. 
Event | June 12, 2017

Religion and Violence in Russia

Join the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Russia and Eurasia Program for a day-long conference presenting the preliminary findings of their project on religion and violence in Russia.
Event | June 09, 2017

State-Business Relations in Putin's Russia

Join PONARS Eurasia for the next installment of the New Voices on Russia speaker series. Stanislav Markus of the University of South Carolina will shed light on an important determinant of Russia's domestic and foreign policy: the relationship between government actors and business owners.
Event | June 07, 2017

Book Talk: A Successful Failure—Russia After Crime(a)

The annexation of Crimea has transformed the Russian Federation. The editors of this book will analyze some of the resulting trends and try to provide a road map for the workings of Russia after Crimea.
Analysis | July 13, 2017

Russian Election Interference in Trump’s Own Words

Allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential race first surfaced more than a year ago. Since then, Donald Trump—as a candidate, as president-elect and finally as president—has weighed in on the topic. In some ways, his position has evolved: from saying that the story of Russian interference was spread (and possibly invented) by sore-losing Democrats to conceding that Russia was behind the hacks of Democrats’ computer systems, and ultimately to confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin about the allegations. But in other ways, Trump’s position has remained consistent: He maintains that even if Russia did interfere, that had no impact on the election’s outcome; he has repeatedly expressed doubt that Russia was behind the hacks (even after publicly saying it was); he has insisted that his campaign did not have any back-door dealings with Russia, calling claims to the contrary part of a political “witch hunt”; and he has defended those close to him as they have been accused of colluding with Moscow.

A declassified version of a report by the U.S. Intelligence Community said in January that “Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election” whose “goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.” The intelligence officials “further assess[ed that] Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump” and that they used various means—including cyber and disinformation—in pursuit of their goals. At least three investigations are ongoing: one probe by a Justice Department-appointed special counsel and one each by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Below, we try to trace the arc of Trump’s comments on the topic of Russian election interference. This is an evolving draft that may be updated in the future and an expanded version including Trump’s comments on all things Russia will appear under our Competing Views rubric.