Trump distances himself from his own remarks on Putin over election meddling

Reuters reports: U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday attempted to clear up confusion over whether he accepts Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of meddling in the U.S. election last year.

At a news conference in Vietnam, Trump distanced himself from remarks he made on Saturday in which he suggested he believed Putin when he said there had been no Russian meddling in the election that took him to the White House.

The comments had drawn criticism at home because U.S. intelligence agencies have long since concluded there was Russian meddling.

“As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted,” Trump said at a news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.

“As currently led, by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.”

He was careful to make clear he sided with the intelligence agencies under his own leadership.

Former U.S. intelligence director James Clapper had told Reuters: “The fact the president of the United States would take Putin at his word over that of the intelligence community is quite simply unconscionable.” [Continue reading…]

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