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    Posted: July 17 2018 at 2:04pm

Donald Trump backtracks on Russia election meddling comments, says he misspoke in Helsinki

Updated 7 minutes ago

Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.

 
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VIDEO: 'I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't': Trump doubles back on comments during Helsinki summit (ABC News)

US President Donald Trump, grappling with a torrent of criticism over his performance at a Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, says he misspoke at their joint news conference and meant to say he saw no reason why it was not Russia that interfered in the 2016 US election.

Key points:

  • US President corrects his own comments approximately 27 hours after he originally made them
  • Mr Trump says he accepts Russia's 2016 election meddling took place, but "it could be other people also"
  • US Senate Republican leader: "The European countries are our friends, and the Russians are not"

"The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be Russia' instead of 'why it would'," Mr Trump said.

His comment came — amid rising rebuke by his own party — about 27 hours after his original, widely reported statement made at a summit in Helsinki on Monday (local time) standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin.

While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, it is not being reported that way - the Fake News is going Crazy!

"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place," Mr Trump said on Tuesday.

But he added: "It could be other people also. A lot of people out there. There was no collusion at all."

Moments earlier, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell issued a public reassurance to US allies in NATO and Europe with whom Mr Trump clashed during his frenzied Europe trip last week.

"The European countries are our friends, and the Russians are not," Mr McConnell said.

Taking to Twitter, Mr Trump maintained the summit with Mr Putin went "even better" than his meeting with NATO allies.

He said his NATO meeting was "great" but he "had an even better meeting with Mr Putin".

"Sadly, it is not being reported that way — the Fake News is going Crazy!

Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.

 
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VIDEO: Donald Trump says he saw no reason not to trust Vladimir Putin (Photo: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko) (ABC News)

In fact, the reaction back home has been immediate and visceral, among fellow Republicans as well as the usual critics of Mr Trump.

As I said yesterday, the Helsinki press conference was saddening and disappointing, and I am glad people on both sides of the aisle condemned it strongly.

Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said Mr Trump's comments were "saddening and disappointing".

On Capitol Hill, top Republican leaders said they were open to slapping fresh sanctions on Russia but showed no signs of acting any time soon.

"Let's be very clear, just so everybody knows: Russia did meddle with our elections," said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

"What we intend to do is make sure they don't get away with it again and also to help our allies."

Calls for transparency over Trump, Putin private meeting

In the Senate, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York called for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top officials to appear before Congress and tell exactly what happened during Mr Trump's two-hour private session with Mr Putin.

Mr Schumer also urged the Senate to take up legislation to boost security for US elections and to revive a measure passed earlier by the Judiciary Committee to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference.

But minority Democrats have few tools to push their priorities.

In the House, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi planned a vote on Tuesday in support of the intelligence committee's findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Senators had floated a similar idea earlier, but Senator John Cornyn of Texas said sanctions may be preferable to a non-binding resolution that amounts to "just some messaging exercise".

Mr Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the first step was to get Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to appear, "hopefully" next week.

Mr Trump's meeting with Mr Putin in Helsinki was his first time sharing the international stage with a man he has described as an important US competitor — but whom he has also praised a strong, effective leader.

His remarks, siding with a foe on foreign soil over his own government, was a stark illustration of Mr Trump's willingness to upend decades of US foreign policy and rattle Western allies in service of his political concerns.

A wary and robust stance toward Russia has been a bedrock of his party's world view.

But Mr Trump made clear he feels that any acknowledgement of Russia's election involvement would undermine the legitimacy of his election.

Standing alongside Mr Putin, Mr Trump steered clear of any confrontation with the Russian, going so far as to question American intelligence and last week's federal indictments that accused 12 Russians of hacking into Democratic email accounts to hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016.

"I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.

"He just said it's not Russia. I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be," Mr Trump said.

That's the part he corrected on Tuesday.

Mr Trump's statement on Monday drew a quick rebuttal from his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats.

"We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security," Mr Coats said.

Fellow GOP politicians have generally stuck with Mr Trump during a year and a half of turmoil, but he was assailed as seldom before as he returned home on Monday night from what he had hoped would be a proud summit with Mr Putin.

Senator John McCain of Arizona was most outspoken, declaring that Mr Trump made a "conscious choice to defend a tyrant" and achieved "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".

Senator Rand Paul defends Trump's comments

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul emerged as one of the president's few defenders from his own party.

He defended Mr Trump's skepticism to CBS News on Tuesday, citing the President's experience on the receiving end of "partisan investigations".

Back at the White House, Mr Paul's comments drew a presidential tweet of gratitude.

Thank you @RandPaul. “The President has gone through a year and a half of totally partisan investigations - what’s he supposed to think?”

In all, Mr Trump's remarks amounted to an unprecedented embrace of a man who for years had been isolated by the US and Western allies for actions in Ukraine, Syria and beyond.

And it came at the end of an extraordinary trip to Europe in which Mr Trump had already berated allies, questioned the value of the NATO alliance and demeaned leaders including Germany's Angela Merkel and Britain's Theresa May.

In Helsinki, Mr Putin said he had indeed wanted Mr Trump to win the election — a revelation that might have made more headlines if not for Mr Trump's performance — but had taken no action to make it happen.

Reuters/AP

Topics: donald-trumpworld-politicsgovernment-and-politics

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2018 at 2:12pm
LIAR ,LIAR, LIAR, 

he must think we all have is mental age of  2 1/2 ,

to believe this S..t

people i present you LEADER.............

dont turn your BACK.................. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2018 at 2:14pm

Trump-Putin summit: US president reverses remark on Russia meddling

">

Donald Trump: "I realised that there was a need for some clarification..."

Exit player
Media captionDonald Trump: "I realised that there was a need for some clarification..."

US President Donald Trump has said he accepts US intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election - despite declining to do so just a day ago.

He said he had misspoken on Monday and had meant to say he saw no reason why it was not Russia that meddled.

The original comments, after he met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, drew a barrage of criticism.

Even some of Mr Trump's allies had urged him to clarify his stance.

In his latest remarks, he added he had "full faith and support" in US intelligence agencies.

What he said then...

The controversy centres on a response he gave to a question at a news conference on Monday following the summit with Mr Putin.

This is an extract from the transcript posted by the White House.

REPORTER: President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every US intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did. My first question for you, sir, is, who do you believe?

TRUMP: My people came to me... they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it's not Russia. I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be.

.... what he says now

Mr Trump said he had reviewed the transcript and realised he needed to clarify.

"In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't," he said.

"The sentence should have been: 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't' or 'why it wouldn't be Russia'. Sort of a double negative."

The US president added: "I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. Could be other people also. A lot of people out there."

Media captionThe ways Trump and Putin see eye to eye

Mr Trump said that the interference had had no impact on the election, in which he defeated Hillary Clinton.

However, he did not respond when reporters asked him if he would condemn Mr Putin.

Why the outrage?

Republicans and Democrats alike were dumbfounded that Mr Trump sided with Russia over his own intelligence officials after Monday's summit.

The US and Russia have been long-term adversaries, and remain far apart on major issues. Some lawmakers were also upset that he refused to offer specific criticisms of Russia and Mr Putin, instead saying both countries were responsible for poor relations.

Even one of his most loyal Republican supporters, Newt Gingrich, said the comments were the "most serious mistake of his presidency".

After the reversal, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer accused the US president of cowardice.

Skip Twitter post by @SenSchumer

It tells President Putin 'continue to take advantage of Donald Trump' because he doesn’t have the courage, the strength, maybe not even the conviction to say to Putin’s face what he tried to say a few minutes ago.

End of Twitter post by @SenSchumer


The damage has been done

By the BBC's Anthony Zurcher in Washington

Does Donald Trump believe in ominous metaphors? As he affirmed his support for US intelligence agencies, the lights went to black in the White House conference room.

Once order was restored, he said he had been in the dark why a storm has swirled around his presidency in the day since his Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin. It was, he says, because he misspoke.

A composite showing US president Donald TrumpImage copyrightREUTERSImage captionThe room in the White House went dark for a brief moment during the statement

That is going to be hard for many of the president's critics to swallow, however. Even if he did mean to say, "I don't see a reason why it wouldn't be Russia", it is a pretty weak way to confront the head of a nation accused of targeting the heart of American democracy.

What's more, the context of the president's comments make a simple slip of the tongue seem less likely.

At the very least, the president gave his supporters some material to rally around.

The damage, however, has been done. Mr Trump can give as many White House statements as he likes, but on the biggest stage - standing beside the Russian president - he fumbled. All the explanations can't change that.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2018 at 3:56pm
It would be a believable "misspeak" if it were not for the context.  Put it back into the whole interview and it becomes, not just unbelievable but, an insult to the intelligence/sanity of the listener.

May I suggest a new title?

Not POTUS but LICTUS (Liar In Chief of The United States).

I quite like Swartzenegger's "Noodle" too.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2018 at 4:00pm
You could put a T in front of that for "Traitorus" as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2018 at 7:55pm
This happens to me all the time!
I can(n"t) believe every word he says!
I would (n't) trust him as far as I can throw him!
He has (n't) always told the truth!

It happens every day even when your remarks have been prepared in advance!
Buy more ammo!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 18 2018 at 1:28am
Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 18 2018 at 2:02am
The rabbit hole just got a little deeper...

Mueller Now Locked in on New Target, Top Republican Senator

http://www.washingtondailywire.com/mueller-now-locked-in-on-new-target-top-republican-senator/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=LA&utm_campaign=facebook_LA


"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 18 2018 at 3:10am
seriously,

do the Trump supporters not see the damage he is doing around the ......

Sorry that's how I started :

Lucky most people down here look on Trump as a fool and feel sorry for you as we would say "true blue" American people,

This really can't go on much longer he is a laughing stock,

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 18 2018 at 9:46pm
Fellow members, I have not been around much lately because there's not much infectious disease news and the political news is frankly scary! Even though I didn't vote for him I would like to apologize to our allies for the nut case our people elected to lead our country! Please don't give up on the United States! Our people need your support and our leaders need to hear your voices! I only have one question - What does Putin have on Trump? It must be ugly!
Buy more ammo!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 18 2018 at 11:25pm
You never see Putin smiling, but he was practically grinning in Helsinki. The guy was beaming.

And Trump's facial expression. I agree, arirish - whatever it is, it's ugly.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 19 2018 at 12:17am
the body language speaks volumes in this picture,looks like he done a few rounds with Tyson Ouch
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 19 2018 at 3:48am
Thank you, Arirish.  You, personally, have no need to appologise, but it still felt good to read it.

48 hours after the Helsinki meeting, press reports have leaked out from the Salisbury police (not officially confirmed - yet).  CCTV footage from the first round of novichok poisoning has been matched with CCTV footage from our airports, to reveal suspects of a Russian origin.*

One of our people died from a bottle containing novichok (presumably the discarded attempted murder weapon) - that is an act of war!

'And whilst we undergo this, our dark hour of international tension, where is our greatest ally?  Sucking up to Putin till his nose turns brown!

It could damage our frendship.  People like you help stop that happening.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 19 2018 at 5:12am
My personal regard for the American people will not waver over a hicup......

Or a w..ker........
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