Dan Bongino on new claims of Russian election interference: ‘Putin has to be absolutely laughing’
Former NYPD officer and Secret Service agent Dan Bongino reacted on Monday to reports that Russia is allegedly trying to interfere with the 2020 presidential election, saying “Vladimir Putin has to be absolutely laughing right now.”
“He’s got to be laughing about how the bidding, his own bidding, is being done by people in this country who have this just animus towards the president, they refuse to let go,” Bongino said on “Fox & Friends” on Monday.
“Vladimir Putin’s goal is one thing: to cause chaos in the United States to get the country to collapse on itself and what better way to do it than to get media folks and other people to run with unfounded rumors that the president is a Russian agent.”
Bongino, a Fox News contributor, made the comments in response to fears of Russian intervention gripping the 2020 presidential race following an unverified report by The New York Times and CNN that Russia wanted to help President Donald Trump, which CNN has since walked back.
Then, it was reported that U.S. intelligence officials had briefed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that Russia was trying to help his campaign too, although it was unclear how or why the alleged support for the self-described democratic socialist was occurring.
Trump tweeted on Friday, “MSDNC (Comcast Slime), @CNN and others of the Fake Media, have now added Crazy Bernie to the list of Russian Sympathizers, along with @TulsiGabbard & Jill Stein (of the Green Party), both agents of Russia, they say. But now they report President Putin wants Bernie (or me) to win.”
Trump added, “The reason for this is that the Do Nothing Democrats, using disinformation Hoax number 7, don’t want Bernie Sanders to get the Democrat Nomination, and they figure this would be very bad for his chances. It’s all rigged, again, against Crazy Bernie Sanders!”
Contrary to the recent media reports, there is no evidence to suggest that Russia is making a specific “play” to boost Trump’s reelection bid, a U.S. intelligence official told Fox News on Sunday.
In addition, top U.S. election official Shelby Pierson, who briefed Congress on Russian election interference efforts, may have overstated intelligence regarding the issue when speaking to the House Intelligence Committee earlier this month, the source added.
Intelligence agencies have made great strides in preventing Russian interference this year, Fox News also was told.
Republican lawmakers who were in the Pierson briefing noted that Trump has taken on Russia in numerous ways, one official present told The Associated Press. The White House has opposed Russia’s major proposed pipeline in Germany, provided deadly arms to Ukraine and accused Russia of violating key arms treaties, among other measures.
“I mean it’s been unprecedented,” he continued. “You would think the Democrats who are typically tactically and politically smarter than this would figure out that it’s time to start sticking to the issues and hammering him on the issues that they think would matter, but they can’t seem to get away from their dreaded TDS [Trump Derangement Syndrome] and they focus on the personal stuff all the time.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re and John Roberts contributed to this report.