USA: Trump backpedals, says he ‘accepts’ US intelligence on Russian meddling

US President Donald Trump said that he does accept US intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, during a press conference at the White House in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. Trump’s statement appears to contradict what he had said just the day before, where he voiced doubt in US intelligence findings that Russia was involved.

According to Trump, the misunderstanding came about because he misspoke during Monday’s joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reading from a script, he stressed, “I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t.’ And the sentence should have been – and I thought it would be maybe a little bit unclear on the transcript or unclear on the actual video – the sentence should have been: I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia. Sort of a double negative.”

Putin and Trump had their third meeting in Helsinki on 16 of July; the leaders’ first meeting was in July 2017 on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg and in November they met at the APEC summit in Da Nang, Vietnam.

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