POLITICS

Trump Tries To Walk Back Disastrous Helsinki Performance In CBS Interview

The president says he was “very strong on the fact that we can’t have meddling” in his one-on-one with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

CBS Evening News’ Jeff Glor landed an interview with President Donald Trump that’s set to air in increments over the next couple of days.

As one would expect, Wednesday night’s segment focused heavily on Trump’s refusal earlier in the week to condemn Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 

When Glor asked if he agrees with U.S. intelligence that Russia “meddled” in the election, Trump indicated he does, reversing the statement he gave in Helsinki on Monday while standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump had remarked that Putin “just said it’s not Russia” and “I don’t see any reason why it would be,” then backtracked on Tuesday to clarify that he had meant to say “wouldn’t.”

Trump also claimed he was “very strong on the fact that we can’t have meddling,” telling Glor he told Putin so in their one-on-one meeting. But given that the meeting was private, Trump’s claim is impossible to fact-check.

When Glor asked directly if Trump holds Putin personally responsible for election interference, the president said he “would, because he’s in charge of the country” ― an interesting response, as saying you “would” is not the same as saying you “do.” 

Watch the excerpt above. More of the interview is scheduled to run Wednesday on CBS at 6:30 Eastern, with additional segments running Thursday morning and evening.

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