President Trump appeared to offer another confounding version of what happened at his summit with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin during an interview Wednesday.
Here’s what he said
In an interview Wednesday with Jeff Glor of CBS Evening News, the president said that he forcefully told the Russian president that meddling in U.S. elections is unacceptable.
“Do you agree with U.S. intelligence that Russia meddled in the election of 2016?” Glor asked.
“I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that that is true, yeah,” Trump replied.
“But you haven’t condemned Putin specifically,” Glor responded. “Do you hold him personally responsible?”
“Well I would, because he’s in charge of the country,” the president said, “just like I consider myself responsible for things that happen in this country, so certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes.”
“I let him know we can’t have it”
“What did you say to him?” Glor asked.
“Very strong on the fact that we can’t have meddling, we can’t have any of that,” Trump responded, “now look we’re also living in a grown up world. Really strong statement, you know, President Obama supposedly made a strong statement, nobody heard it.”
“What they did hear is the statement he made to Putin’s very close friend, and that statement was not acceptable,” Trump continued. “Didn’t get very much play, relatively speaking, but that statement was not acceptable.”
“But I let him know we can’t have it,” he concluded, “we’re not going to have it, and that’s the way it’s going to be.”
“Extremely strong and powerful in his denial”
The comments are at odds with his statement before the media as he stood next to Putin in a press conference after their private meeting.
“I have great confidence in my intelligence people,” Trump said, “But, I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
“Could be other people also. A lot of people out there.”
After a day of condemnations from both sides of the aisle, the White House explained that Trump had misspoke and had meant to say he did believe Russia meddled in the election.
However, some noted that he hedged his statement when offering a clarification as well. “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” he said, then added, “could be other people also. A lot of people out there. There was no collusion at all.”
Here’s the video of Trump’s newest Putin comments:
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) July 18, 2018