White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci dismissed the notion that Russian hackers interfered in the 2016 U.S. election by referring to a theory held by President Donald Trump -- a theory originally expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, in June (video below).
Scaramucci told CNN host Jake Tapper that Russian hackers are too skilled in hacking to be caught interfering in the election:
There’s a lot of disinformation out there. Somebody said to me yesterday, I won't tell you who, that if the Russians actually hacked this situation and spilled out those emails, you would have never seen it. You would have never had any evidence of them, meaning, that they’re super confident in their deception skills and hacking.
Tapper told Scaramucci: "I don’t know who this anonymous person is that said if the Russians had actually done it, we wouldn't be able to detect it."
"How about it’s the president, Jake," Scaramucci retorted. "I talked to him yesterday. He called me from Air Force One, and he basically said to me: 'This is, maybe they did it, maybe they didn't do it.'"
Tapper explained that Trump's belief is contradicted by U.S. intelligence:
This is exactly the issue. We have experts, the U.S. intelligence agencies [are] unanimous, both Obama appointees and Trump appointees, the director of national intelligence, the head of the National Security Agency, the head of the FBI. All of these intelligence experts, saying, Russia hacked the election, they tried to interfere in the election. No votes were changed, but there was this disinformation, misinformation campaign. President Trump is contradicting it and you’re siding with President Trump.
On July 23, The New York Times shed light on the origin of Trump's theory:
But when Mr. Trump met Mr. Putin in Hamburg, Germany, two weeks ago, he did not utter similar suspicions, at least in public. In fact, he emerged to tell his aides that the Russian president had offered a compelling rejoinder: Moscow’s cyberoperators are so good at covert computer-network operations that if they had dipped into the Democratic National Committee’s systems, they would not have been caught.
Back on CNN, Tapper asked Scaramucci if owed the American people the truth, and Scaramucci tried to lecture Tapper:
What about this conversation are you missing, Jake? There are checks and balances in the system for a reason. The president will make that decision [on the sanction bill against Russia] when he makes that decision. You're telling me something is true that could, in fact, be true. I don't have the information in front of me.