Thousands of Miles From Putin, Trump Now Tries to Claim He Believes Russian Interference

“I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t.'”

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.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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