For the second time this week, President Donald Trump publicly went against the findings of the U.S. Intelligence Community with respect to Russian efforts to undermine election activities in the United States, as the President shot down a question about whether Russia was still engaged in activities like their 2016 interference in the U.S. elections. “Is Russia still targeting the U.S.?” a reporter asked, as the President wrapped up a Cabinet meeting at the White House. “Thank you very much. No,” President Trump said firmly as he shook his head, giving an answer that again runs counter to what American intelligence agencies have been warning for months, that Russia is looking for a repeat of their 2016 interference efforts. BREAKING: Asked if Russia is still targeting US, Trump says 'no,' contradicting election warnings from intelligence chief — AP Politics (@AP_Politics) July 18, 2018 'No,” President Trump says when asked if Russia is targeting the US https://t.co/eszpyDpaDt — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 18, 2018 In brief remarks to reporters, the President said several times that he has been tough on Russia. “There’s never been a President as tough on Russia as I have been,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “And I think President Putin knows that better than anybody, especially the media.” On Monday, after Mr. Trump had seemingly sided with the denial of Vladimir Putin at a joint news conference in Finland, the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, quickly issued a statement reiterating that the U.S. firmly believes Russia meddled in the 2016 election, noting “their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.” Mr. Trump then clarified his comments on Tuesday, in a statement read to reporters – but Wednesday’s remarks seemed to take him back to square one – where the President argues that the Russians are not coming after the U.S. The President’s answer puts him squarely at odds as well with many in both parties in the Congress, who fully believe that Russia is still actively engaged in efforts to meddle with the 2018 and 2020 elections in the United States. A BIG discrepancy between President Trump’s statement and DNI Coates’ warning. It’s imperative we get to the bottom of what is going on so we can be prepared to protect ourselves in advance of the 2018 elections. My personal view: the Russians are at again. — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 18, 2018 “OMG. OMG. OMG,” wrote Michael Hayden on Twitter, a former Director of the CIA and National Security Agency. “Mr. President. Walk this back too,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer.