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Trump acknowledges Russian involvement in U.S. election

Posted July. 19, 2018 08:32,   

Updated July. 19, 2018 08:32


“I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” said U.S. President Donald Trump to backtrack on his comment that he didn’t see any reason why Russia meddled in the U.S. election. After telling reporters at the White House on Tuesday that he has “full faith and support for America's great intelligence agencies,” President Trump spoke from a script that “I’ve said this many times -- I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place.”

At a joint press conference held on Monday with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, President Trump, standing next to Putin, said that President Putin said it was not Russia that meddled in the U.S. election. In addition, Trump stood up for Putin, calling the investigation into the allegation of Russian involvement in the election a “disaster” for the United States.

After the joint press conference, President Trump was slammed by his own party members as well as Democrats. Even Fox News, which has been pro-Trump, rebuked Trump’s remarks by saying it was shameful and treasonous. President Trump said he made mistake in using a “double negative” sentence.

President Trump said he chose a wrong word while answering to the question that who was more credible between Russian President Putin or the U.S. intelligence agency. He said he should have said “I don’t see any reason it wouldn’t be Russia” instead of using the word “would,” adding that he meant to use a double negative sentence. “I think that probably clarifies things pretty much by itself,” said Trump after explaining about his remarks repeatedly.

Trump’s efforts to clarify his remarks, however, do not seem to appease the anger in and outside the U.S. political circle. Furthermore, while speaking from a script, President Trump said, “(It) could be other people also” that meddled in the election, only increasing controversy.

Taek Kyoon Sohn sohn@donga.com