Zuckerberg says he's seen evidence Russia tried to influence election using social media, contradicting Trump

  • Investigators and Facebook executives have repeatedly outlined a calculated misinformation campaign launched on the social media network by Russian agents.
  • President Donald Trump defended Russia this week, saying he didn't "see any reason" why the government would be behind the foreign attempts to influence the U.S. presidential election.
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., speaks during a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., speaks during a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pushing back on President Donald Trump's wobbly response to alleged Russian election hacking, telling Recode's Kara Swisher there's "no reason not to" believe U.S. intelligence officials.

Zuckerberg's comments, made on Tuesday and published Wednesday, come after a press conference with the U.S. president and Russian Preisident Vladimir Putin in which Trump defended Russia, saying he didn't "see any reason" why the Russian government would be behind the attempts to influence the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

Investigators and Facebook executives have repeatedly outlined a calculated misinformation campaign launched on the social media network by Russian agents. Last week special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian nationals for interfering in the U.S. election.

"The evidence that we’ve seen is quite clear, that the Russians did try to interfere with the election," Zuckerberg told Recode's Swisher. "These are real things. These aren’t things that someone made up."

Trump clarified his statements on Russia Tuesday, saying his misspoke during the press conference and that he accepted intelligence officials conclusions. He added, hacking efforts "could be other people also." When asked by the press on Wednesday if the Russians were still trying to influence U.S. elections, Trump said, "no."

"We went out, we traced [Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency] activity, not only through what they’ve tried to do in the U.S., but we’ve traced that activity back to trying to manipulate culture and news in Russia itself," Zuckerberg said. "What we’ve detected through our systems are actually essentially the same thing as the IRA. All the people who are running them are the same."

Read the full transcript of Zuckerberg's hour-plus-long interview with Swisher on Recode.