Standing side-by-side with Putin, who U.S. intelligence agencies have said ordered the campaign of cyberattacks against U.S. political targets, Trump told reporters that Putin had forcefully denied that Russia was to blame for the election-meddling efforts and that “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
The backlash against the president’s remark prompted Trump to take the rare step Tuesday of admitting a mistake, telling reporters that when he said he didn’t see any reason why Russia would have sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, he had in fact meant the exact opposite.
“I actually went out and reviewed a clip of an answer that I gave and I realize that there is need for some clarification. It should have been obvious, I thought it would be obvious, but I would like to clarify just in case it wasn’t,” Trump said. “In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word would instead of wouldn’t. The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t’ or ‘why it wouldn’t be Russia.’”
“So just to repeat it, I said the word would instead of wouldn’t and the sentence should have been — and I thought I would be maybe a little bit unclear on the transcript or unclear on the actual video,” he continued. “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative. So you can put that in, and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.”
A Minor and Forgivable Mistake
Like the time she said, “Take your dirty hands off me, you slimeball!” when she clearly meant to say, “DON’T take your dirty hands off me, you loveable slimeball! In fact, why don’t we get drunk and screw?”