The Associated Press reports:
President Donald Trump says he meant the opposite when he said in Helsinki that he doesn’t see why Russia would have interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections. Back at the White House on Tuesday, the president told reporters that he said he meant he doesn’t see why Russia “wouldn’t” be responsible. He also said he accepts the American intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the election, but he denied that his campaign had colluded in the effort.
Trump spoke a day after returning to the U.S. to nearly universal condemnation of his performance at Russian President Vladmir Putin’s side in Helsinki. Putin said he wanted Trump to win the race against Democrat Hillary Clinton. In Helsinki, Trump delivered no condemnation of Russia’s interference and refused to say he believes American intelligence agencies over Russia’s denials of meddling.
Trump: “I realize that there is a need for some clarification…In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word would instead of wouldn’t….the sentence should have been I don’t see why it WOULDN’T be Russia” that interfered in 2016 election
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) July 17, 2018
Trump reads this: “In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word would instead of wouldn’t. The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it WOULDN’T be Russia….Sort of a double negative. So you can put that in, and I think that probably clarifies things”
— Chris Jansing (@ChrisJansing) July 17, 2018
Pres. Trump on Russian election meddling:
MONDAY: “President Putin … just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
TODAY: “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,’ sort of a double-negative.”
— KTEN News (@KTENnews) July 17, 2018
BREAKING: President Trump claims he misspoke while discussing election meddling during news conference with Putin: “In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t.’ … The sentence should’ve been: ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia'” pic.twitter.com/2bA9EionD1
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 17, 2018
Pres. Trump says he misspoke: “I said the word ‘would,’ instead of ‘wouldn’t’…The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia’…I have on numerous occasions noted our intelligence findings that Russians attempted to interfere in our election” pic.twitter.com/N2kPcL7dwi
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 17, 2018