On Tuesday, President Donald Trump claimed he “misspoke” during the Helsinki Summit, when he cast doubt on the findings of the U.S. intelligence community concerning Russian interference in the 2016 election.

When questioned as to the multiple U.S intelligence agencies who had concluded that Russia had interfered in the election, Trump seemed to side with Russian President Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence officers. He noted that while he has “great confidence in my intelligence people… President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

“My people came to me, [U.S Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me and some others they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia,” said Trump. “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”



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In a rare statement, Coats later defended his agency’s findings, “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy,” he said.

In response to widespread backlash, Trump reversed his stance while speaking ahead of a White House meeting with Republican members of Congress. After reviewing the conference’s transcript, he apparently “realized that there is a need for clarification.” The president asserted that he has “full faith” in the U.S intelligence community and accepts their findings that Russians interfered in the 2016 election.


On a key note, the president also clarified that he meant to say that he had no reason to think Russia “wouldn’t” have interfered in the election, instead of what he actually said, which is that he had no reason to think Russia “would” have interfered.

“The sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,’ sort of a double negative,” said Trump.

He still maintained that despite the findings, he “felt very strongly” that “Russia’s actions had no impact at all on the outcome of the election.”

Check out Trump’s statement below, courtesy of CNN Politics:

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