President Donald Trump has said that no country is trying to help him win the election, after a top intelligence official told lawmakers that Russia was meddling in the 2020 presidential vote to help Trump win a second term.
Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday as he concluded a two-day visit to India, Trump said: “I want no help from any country and I haven’t been given help from any country.”
After the congressional briefing, Trump ousted the acting intelligence chief, Joseph Maguire, and replaced him with a political loyalist.
At the news conference, Trump denied reports that Maguire had been ousted from the top spy job, saying he needed to be replaced because of “statute”.
Trump has said he will announce his pick soon for the job, which requires Senate confirmation.
U.S. officials have also said that Russia has been mounting disinformation and propaganda campaigns to help Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in this year’s election.
The intelligence community concluded that Russia had meddled in the 2016 election, though Moscow has denied the assessments.
Trump, who is sensitive to doubts over the legitimacy of his win, has questioned those findings and repeatedly criticised American intelligence agencies.