After receiving a day’s worth of non-stop criticism, President Donald Trump read a prepared statement saying he accepts the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
To be clear, Trump still seemed to waffle in his acceptance of U.S. intelligence: "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." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/Gp4hzEbZBc
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 17, 2018
Ever the contrarian, Trump immediately added that it “could be other people, also,” saying “there are a lot of people out there.”
Trump had been under siege since his performance at a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday, where he blamed the U.S. for Russia’s election interference efforts and refused to condemn the country. Instead, he delved into conspiracy theories about the DNC.
Trump also said that he misspoke on the matter, saying that he meant to say, “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia” who interfered in the election.
At the conference, he said, “[They] said they think it’s Russia… I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be,” sparking the uproar.
BREAKING: President Trump claims he misspoke while discussing election meddling during news conference with Putin: "In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't.' … The sentence should've been: 'I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia'" pic.twitter.com/2bA9EionD1
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 17, 2018
This is not the first time Trump has had to walk back a very public statement he made. In the 2016 election, he was forced to backtrack after saying women should be punished for having an abortion if Roe v. Wade was overturned.