Trump Says He Misspoke On Russian Meddling, Accepts Intelligence Assessment

Lehtikuva/Antti Aimo-Koivisto via REUTERS

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump accepted the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and said he misspoke during his Monday press conference with President Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s appearance with Putin drew bipartisan criticism after he appeared to give some credence to Putin’s claim that he did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election, despite being told the opposite by his intelligence community leaders. “I have confidence in both parties,” Trump said, adding that he didn’t see any reason why Russia would interference on his behalf.

The president said Monday after reviewing the transcript and clip of his press conference, “I realized that there is a need for some clarification.”

“In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,'” Trump said.

“The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia,'” he said Tuesday. “So just to repeat it, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t’ and the sentence should have been, and I thought I would maybe be a little bit unclear on the transcripts or unclear on the actual video, the sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.'”

Trump also said he accepts the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. The president continued his administration would take action to stop Russia from attempting to meddle in the 2018 presidential election.