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Wait. Now Trump fears Russia will meddle in the election. To help Democrats.

The president said he believes that because he's so strong on Russia, Moscow wants to damage him in the upcoming election.
Image: Trump takes to the stage to address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City
Trump said Russia would be "pushing very hard for the Democrats."Carlos Barria / Reuters

Now, he's worried about the Russians?

President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday he was concerned about Moscow meddling in the upcoming election — to benefit Democrats — despite the president's repeated statements casting doubt on Russian interference in U.S. elections and the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia helped him over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

"I'm very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election," the president said. "Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don't want Trump!"

It was unclear whether Trump was referring to the midterm elections in November or the upcoming presidential election in 2020.

Trump faced a fierce backlash from Republicans and Democrats last week after his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, in which Trump appeared to accept Russia's assertion that it did not orchestrate a campaign to influence the 2016 election despite U.S. intelligence agencies concluding otherwise.

Just days before Trump met with Putin, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers in connection with the bitcoin-funded hacking of Democratic organizations and the Hillary Clinton campaign "with the intent to interfere" in the 2016 election.

The president was forced to clarify his statements in Helsinki after the blowback, claiming he had misspoken and intended to say that Russia could have interfered.

Trump also said he supported the American intelligence community and supported their assessment that Russia meddled in the election, although the president claimed that others could also be responsible.

Last week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also had to again clarify that Trump agreed with the intelligence community that Russia is looking to interfere in the midterm elections this year. Earlier that day, Trump had appeared to say Moscow was no long targeting the U.S. elections, contradicting his own intelligence chief.