Nearly 4,000 miles away from Helsinki and out of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s company, President Donald Trump on Tuesday attempted to clarify his stunning remarks from the day before, in which he openly sided with Russia over the universal assessment of United States intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
“What’s the big deal?” Trump said he wondered when he returned from Helsinki and saw the swift and overwhelming criticism over his remarks. He then said he referred back to his controversial remarks and discovered the problem: “I realized there is need for some clarification. It should have been obvious. I thought it would be obvious, but I would like to clarify just in case it wasn’t.”
The president then carefully read from a prepared statement: “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 I wouldn’t or why it wouldn’t be Russia.'”
“So, just to repeat it, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,” Trump added.
It’s unclear who crafted the president’s new explanation. The facts remain, however, that Trump on Monday accepted Putin’s denial of interference while attacking Hillary Clinton and the ongoing special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference.
“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 I wouldn’t or why it wouldn’t be Russia,'” President Trump says https://t.co/ZU0DDFnp0P pic.twitter.com/8FfCRAsCXQ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 17, 2018