To date, neither the White House nor the Pentagon have publicly confirmed the classified operation.
Trump tried to use his action as an example of how he acted more aggressively than his predecessor against the Kremlin. President Barack Obama, he said, “knew it before  Choice that Russia was playing around with. Or he was told. Who did it or not? And he said nothing. “
Still, the admission is a rare example of Trump recognizing that Russia had malicious intentions in relation to American democracy. He even seemed to brag about deterring such efforts.
“Look, we stopped it,”
The admission comes as U.S. intelligence officials have warned that Russia will try to disrupt this year’s presidential election.
Trump has largely avoided acknowledging such warnings, and Russia has tried to sow discord in the United States and even joined Putin to deny that Moscow intervened in the 2016 presidential election, despite the contrary conclusion of its intelligence agencies.
The Washington Post reported last year on the operation of the US Cyber Command against the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, a company drawn by an oligarch near Putin. IRA trolls were active during the 2016 campaign and masqueraded as Americans to put material online to fuel conflicts through exploitation of racist and other social tensions.
The operation was part of the first offensive cyber campaign against Russia to thwart attempts to disrupt a US election, officials at the post said. It was Cybercom’s first deployment of new agencies, granted by Trump and Congress in 2018 to strengthen offensive capabilities.
The attack started on election day and continued for several days, preventing the Russians from launching a disinformation campaign that raised doubts about the election results.
The Russian embassy did not respond to a request for comment.