Just one day after saying he doesn’t believe Russia interfered with the 2016 U.S. elections, U.S. President Donald Trump back-peddled on his support of Vladimir Putin, now saying that he misspoke and accepts the American intelligence community’s conclusions on Russian meddling.
President Trump told reporters at the White House that he misspoke Monday when he said the opposite during a summit with Putin in Helsinki, the AP reported. Instead, he told media, he meant to say that he doesn’t see why Russia “wouldn’t” be behind the interference. Though he reportedly said he accepts U.S. intelligence conclusions regarding Russia’s meddling, he denied any collusion by his campaign.
BREAKING: Trump says ‘I accept’ US intelligence agencies conclusions on Russian meddling.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) July 17, 2018
Trump has ‘full faith and support’ for U.S. intel
“The full faith and support for America’s intelligence agencies – I have a full faith in our intelligence agencies,” the president told reporters Tuesday. He said Russian actions had no impact on the outcome of the vote and the administration would work aggressively to protect the November 2018 congressional elections.
But standing alongside Putin at the news conference in Helsinki on Monday, Trump was asked if he believed U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusions that Russia interfered in the election in an effort to help him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
He said he was not convinced it was Moscow.
“I don’t see any reason why it would be,” he said. “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
Reuters contributed to this report.