“I don’t see any reason why it would be (Russia),” Trump stated, with an emphasis on the word “would”, when he took the podium in Helsinki, Finland, right next to his Russian counterpart.
This quote caused plenty of scolding from both the left and right sides of the aisle. Even reporters and commentators on Trump-friendly Fox News were attacking the President for his seemingly weak remarks, which some reporters and even former CIA Director John Brennan called “treasonous”.
Yesterday, however, Trump walked back his controversial comment, simply saying that he misspoke and meant to say, “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be (Russia).”
Even though Trump emphasized the word “would” during his press conference, many Trump supporters took the word of the President in believing that he genuinely meant to say “wouldn’t”. Now, however, a senior Trump administration official has come forward, according to The Daily Beast, seemingly implying that this backtrack by Trump is a lie.
“[President Trump] is usually a shoot-from-the-hip and talk from the top of his head kind of guy,” explained the senior Trump administration official. “I think he was more truthful yesterday (Monday in Helsinki) than today (in the Roosevelt Room at the White House) and is capitulating to an angry caucus….. people aren’t going to forget about this. It will be in the top-three worst moments of his presidency.”
The idea that Trump could have mistakenly said the wrong word — a word that means the complete opposite of what he actually did say — seems far-fetched to many. However, when we have a senior official working beneath Trump come forward with claims that he was essentially only partially truthful with his remarks, this would seem to hammer home the idea that this was merely a concession to those Republicans who called the President out for his original comments.