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WATCH LIVE: TRUMP AT CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE BRIEFING

U.S. Official to CNN’s Tapper: Getting White House to Focus on New Russian Interference is ‘Like Pulling Teeth’

CNN’s Jake Tapper reported Wednesday that a U.S. government source said officials try and avoid bringing up Russian interference with President Donald Trump, so much so that urging the administration to address the country’s continued meddling is like  “pulling teeth.”

On Wednesday, New York Times reported that White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney repeatedly urged former DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other advisors not to talk about Russian interference — past and future — in front of Trump. The report noted that Trump sees bringing up Russia’s meddling as tantamount to casting doubt on the legitimacy of his 2016 election victory.

Tapper responded to the report on Twitter, citing an unnamed government official who spoke to him and corroborated the Times story. The official said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and DHS officials regularly call for greater focus on Russian meddling, but White House officials try to keep the topic away from Trump, so it’s “like pulling teeth to get the White House to focus the attention needed on” interference.

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