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Trump Quickly Recognized Mistake With Putin and Sought to Correct It

Contrary to suggestions that he buckled under pressure or was dragged kicking and screaming into revising his remarks in Helsinki – in which he suggested he believed Russian President Putin over his own intelligence agencies about Russian meddling – President Trump appears to have quickly recognized his mistake and directed aides to do help him address it.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Flying home Monday after the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump and his senior aides recognized that he had made a mistake that risked lasting damage and needed to be fixed quickly, people familiar with the matter said.

Playing on a loop on television was footage of the president standing next to Mr. Putin, casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence community’s finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and aligning himself with Moscow’s denial of any meddling.

Mr. Trump, aboard Air Force One, spoke to his staff about how best to correct what they knew was a miscue, and the discussions continued with staff meetings Tuesday morning in Washington.

On the flight home from Helsinki, with Mr. Trump telling aides he wanted to come out with a new statement, John Bolton, his national security adviser, wrote up a list of points that needed to be made quickly and passed them to White House aides, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Bolton noted that president should make clear that he had always backed the U.S. intelligence community, that Russian or any foreign meddling wouldn’t be tolerated, that interference in U.S. elections wouldn’t happen in the midterm elections and that there hadn’t been any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.

Bill Shine, the newly minted deputy chief of staff for communications and a former Fox News executive, voiced concern that the White House needed to provide a new TV image so that networks would stop broadcasting images of Mr. Trump’s news conference in Helsinki, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Trump would heed that advice, making a televised statement from the Cabinet Room during a meeting with lawmakers that was originally supposed to be closed to the press.

The media were never going to let this go because in this case, they had a legitimate reason to be critical of the president, and so they had an excuse to gleefully pile on for months. They still will, but at least Trump has corrected the record and reassured people in the intelligence agencies, some of whom risk their lives on a daily basis, that he doesn’t believe Vladimir Putin over them.

6 Responses to Trump Quickly Recognized Mistake With Putin and Sought to Correct It

  1. You’re far too forgiving.

    When the time came for our President to be President, that did not happen. And offering American citizens for interrogation by Russians? Unforgivable, even if he did “take it back”.

    These opportunities rarely happen twice. It’s cute he’s going for the “do over”, but while everyone here is obsessing about Obama and Hillary Clinton, you’re not paying attention to our country be sold out from underneath us.

    Think of it this way… If this exact debacle had happened under Obama or Hillary Clinton, would you be so quick to forgive?

  2. Of course Trump was wrong in Helsinki. However, he certainly hasn’t “sold this country out from underneath us”. If any President did so, that would have been Obama.

  3. As always, thank you, Keith.

    Gee, I’m just not seeing what the hysteria-mongers are frothing about. Trump said ‘Putin was extremely strong in his denial today.’ That’s it.

    That he clarified a different statement later that everyone purposely chose to completely misinterpret. Fine by me. Who cares? We all know what was behind Trump’s words: (i.e., anything I need to use against Putin will be done in private, behind closed doors, but the public face will be one of diplomatic courtesy). We want Putin to change his behavior. Trashing him in public will accomplish this? Madness.

    Trump won his election the old fashioned way – by outworking and outsmarting his opponents. The fact he won’t allow the lying anti-Trump anti-America media, Democrat leftists and the upper echelons of the IC to take away that victory (and we, the voters) is the only rational position. That is what this hysteria is all about: anything to de-legitimize this man’s position and take away his rightful title as President.

    Almost everyone I’m seeing online and on the air willfully ignores what the president has masterfully set up with this meeting – the possibility for meaningful cooperation between the countries that can lead to that too-often cliched, elusive idea of world peace.

    Keep talking, Dems. The blood in the water you smell is your own electoral annihilation come November. #MAGA

  4. I’m so sick of this “what did President Trump say in Helsinki, and what did he really mean, crap. It is crap! Didn’t we hear Obama say “if you like your doctor, you can keep….. or Benghazi was the faul of an obscure filmmaker,,,etc. Why is there no critique of Obama?