Trump clarifies his comments on Putin + election hacking: “I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether or not I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies” pic.twitter.com/nDqJqeytkk
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) November 12, 2017
President Trump had a chance to perform a walk-back maneuver after creating a huge mess over Russian election meddling, but he may have made things worse. To briefly recap, Trump talked with Putin in Vietnam, and the U.S. president then fretted over Putin feeling insulted: “Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.” Not only that, but Trump tossed the “political hacks” label upon Ex-CIA Director John Brennan, Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Ex-FBI Director James Comey. So, John McCain lashed out to brand Trump as “naive” for believing Putin, and a backlash commenced.
Well, Sunday saw Trump express surprise to reporters about his comments creating a stir, and then he officially (well, sort of) sided with U.S. intelligence agencies on the matter while executing verbal gymnastics:
“What I said is, I believe [Putin] believes that, and that’s very important for somebody to believe. I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted, with their leadership. I believe in our intel agencies, our intelligence agencies. I’ve worked with them very strongly,”