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Doland Trump says he misspoke in comment about Russian election meddling

Trump’s statement came after opponents and his own party criticised him for not backing the American intelligence community's assessment.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: July 18, 2018 7:52 IST ]
Image Source : AP

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump has said that he has full faith in US intelligence agencies and his remarks about Russian election meddling was a case of misspeaking. Trump’s statement came after his opponents and his own party criticised him for not backing the American intelligence community's assessment during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

"I have full faith and support for America's great intelligence agencies, always have. And I have felt very strongly that while Russia's actions had no impact at all on the outcome of the election, let me be totally clear in saying and I've said this many times, I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place," Trump told reporters at the White House.

"Could be other people also. A lot of people out there. There was no collusion at all, and people have seen that and they've seen that strongly. The House has already come out very strongly on that, a lot of people have come out strongly on that," he said amidst a national political outrage over his remarks that the Russians did not interfere in the 2016 presidential elections.

At the Helsinki press conference, Trump had said "I don't see any reason why it would be" Russia that meddled in the US election.

Trump, however, said that he misspoke.

"It should've been obvious, I thought it would be obvious, but I would like to clarify just in case I wasn't. 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," he said.

"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. 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.

"I have on numerous occasions noted our intelligence findings that Russians attempted to interfere in our elections," said the US President.

Trump alleged that unlike previous administrations, his administration has and will continue to move aggressively to repeal any efforts and will stop and repel any efforts to interfere in US elections.

Top officials of the Obama administration knew about Russia's attempt to interfere in the election in September and they totally buried it because they thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win, he alleged.

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