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President Trump says it’s a ‘hoax’ that Russian sources purchased ads on Facebook

His comments come as federal investigators continue to probe precisely that.

President Trump Holds Joint News Conference With The Amir Of Kuwait Alex Wong / Getty

Federal officials across the U.S. government are investigating whether Russia sought to influence the 2016 presidential election by purchasing ads on social networks like Facebook.

But President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed the matter as a “hoax.”

Only a day earlier, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that foreign governments had used his company’s website to spread misinformation in the United States and around the world. So far, his company has pinpointed about 3,000 ads purchased by Russian sources ahead of Trump’s Election Day win.

Despite the evidence, Trump tweeted on Friday:

For now, Facebook has turned related details over to Robert Mueller, the former FBI director leading the U.S. government’s probe into potential Russian interference, as well as House and Senate lawmakers similarly investigating the matter.

Zuckerberg, meanwhile, also has pledged to introduce sweeping changes to the way Facebook allows political organizations to purchase ads.

Still, members of Congress plan to grill other tech giants, including Twitter, to find out how their platforms might have been co-opted during the 2016 presidential race. The Trump administration is sure to face similar questions about its digital operation, which drew scrutiny from the House Intelligence Committee beginning this summer.

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