Yesterday, Donald Trump shocked the world by standing next to Vladimir Putin and proclaiming that he believes the Russian president over his own intelligence community. When asked at a joint appearance in Helsinki whether he believes Putin or U.S. intelligence on the question of whether Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, Trump responded in part by saying “I don’t see why it would be Russia.”
Everyone got mad, in both parties. CNN called it “The most shameful, stunning moment of the Trump presidency.” (I guess they forgot about the time he went to bat for the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, but that’s a conversation for another day.) Today, the president attempted to clarify the debacle. He meant “I don’t see why it wouldn’t be Russia,” OK? It’s sort of a double negative:
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
Minutes later, he added, “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place. And then, because he apparently couldn’t help himself, “Could be other people also. A lot of people out there.”
We’re glad the American people are now 100 percent clear where our president stands on this important issue.