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NatSec Adviser O’Brien Denies Russia’s Pro-Trump Election Meddling, Believes Pro-Sanders Interference Because ‘He Honeymooned in Moscow’

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White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien was quick to accept the idea that Russia is trying to help Senator Bernie Sanders win the presidency, even as he rejected reports on intelligence that Russia is also trying to help President Donald Trump get re-elected.

In a transcript from his interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, O’Brien was asked “how is Russia interfering in the 2020 election?”

“Well, there are these reports that they want Bernie Sanders to get elected president,” O’Brien said in a one-sided answer. “That’s no surprise. He honeymooned in Moscow. President Trump has rebuilt the American military to an extent we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan. So, I don’t think it’s any surprise that Russia or China or Iran would want somebody other than President Trump.”

After O’Brien was finished, Stephanopoulos noted the reports saying House lawmakers were warned last week by intelligence officials that Russia is also attempting to meddle with the election again to bolster Trump’s chances of re-election. When asked if he has seen any of the analysis about that, O’Brien answered “I haven’t seen any intelligence that Russia is doing anything to attempt to get President Trump re-elected.”

“I’ve seen the reports from that briefing at the Intel Committee. I wasn’t there, but I’ve seen no intelligence that suggests that. I’ve also heard that from the briefers that that’s not what they intended the story to be,” O’Brien continued. “We’ve been very tough on Russia and we’ve been great on election security. So I think it’s a non-story.”

The interview went on with Stephanopoulos grilling O’Brien about whether he thinks election security official Shelby Pierson was “not telling the truth” when she briefed Congress. This also gravitated around questions of whether O’Brien has seen the intelligence that Russia was trying to hack the Burisma gas company, but Stephanopoulos largely remained focused on whether O’Brien has seen “absolutely no intel analysis from the intelligence community” showing Russia’s preference for Trump.

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Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with video.

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