After consulting the transcript of his comments at the Helsinki press conference with Vladimir Putin yesterday, President Trump has reformulated or clarified what he meant to say. In a meeting with Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee at the White House today, according to the statement quoted by the Washington Post and the statement quoted slightly differently by CBS News, President Trump said: “Let me be totally clear in saying that, and I’ve said this many times, 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. There was no collusion [my additon:] at all and people have seen that and they’ve seen that strongly.”
President Trump emphasized that he meant to say: “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia” rather than “why it would be Russia.” Toward the end of the statement the president elaborated: “I just wanted to clear up, I have the strongest respect for our intelligence agencies headed by my people.”
Video of the entire statement is posted here on YouTube. The whole thing is really must viewing and is embedded below.