Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed out the fact that the White House, as well as the Kremlin, have removed a very important part of this month’s Helsinki meeting between Trump and Putin, from their transcripts and live video feeds.
During the press conference which followed this historic meeting, Jeff Mason, a Reporter from Reuters, asked Putin, “Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?”
Putin’s response was, “Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.”
The problem is that the official White House transcript, as seen below, completely leaves out the first part of Mason’s question, asking “Did you want President Trump to win the election.”
The White House also appears to have removed this portion of the question from their official live stream video of the event. The Kremlin, on the other hand, has completely removed the exchange altogether. Such actions are something we’d expect from the Kremlin, but certainly not the United States of America. It is possible that the White House made a mistake and somehow happened to leave the question out of both the transcript and the video, but The Atlantic actually noticed the omission last week, asked the White House about it, got no response, and the White House did not correct the omission. There is only so much benefit one can provide to the doubt, before rationality kicks in. We’ve included the entire video clip of the exchange below (including the omitted portion of Mason’s question).