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17 Jul, 2018 18:53

'No collusion, but I don't see any reason it wouldn't be Russia' - Trump says misspoke in Helsinki

'No collusion, but I don't see any reason it wouldn't be Russia' - Trump says misspoke in Helsinki

US President Donald Trump has said he accepts the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, but said that Russia’s actions had no impact on the election outcome.

Trump gave a somewhat confusing explanation of his remarks in Helsinki, telling reporters there was “a need for some clarification” on his comments. He explained that when he said he saw no reason why Russia “would” interfere, he meant to say he saw no reason why it “would not” be Russia who interfered in the US elections.

Trump faced tough criticism from the media and politicians on both sides of the political divide yesterday for appearing to back up Putin’s claim that Russia did not interfere in the election and his latest comments seem to mark an effort to backtrack on that claim.

It was a strange turnaround for Trump who seemed to clearly say a day earlier that he was not convinced Moscow meddled in the election.

Standing beside Putin in Helsinki, Trump said he didn’t see “any reason” why Russia would meddle, adding that Putin was “extremely strong and powerful in his denial”.

Trump also said that Russia’s alleged actions had no impact on the election outcome and reiterated that “there was no collusion at all” between his campaign and Russian officials.