Donald Trump has been met with harsh criticism for remarks he made on Air Force One this Saturday, and as reported by The Hill, was immediately backtracking and attempting to "clarify" his remarks: Trump clarifies Putin comments: 'I'm with our agencies' on election meddling:
President Trump clarified his comments Sunday on whether he believes Russia meddled in the U.S. 2016 presidential election, saying, "I believe in our intel agencies."
Trump had told reporters on Air Force One Saturday that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he didn't meddle in the election.
“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it," Trump said Saturday.
The comment quickly became the subject of backlash, prompting Trump to clarify the comments in a joint press conference with Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang on Sunday morning local time.
"What I said is, I believe [Putin] believes that," Trump said at the press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. "I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies, especially as currently constituted, with their leadership."
"I believe in our intel agencies. I've worked with them very strongly," Trump added.
Trump and Putin met Saturday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting in Danang, Vietnam. Trump said Putin is “very insulted” by the suggestion Moscow attempted to hack the election.
This had Trump's best friends on his favorite morning show up in arms, attacking the non-existent so-called "liberal media" for being unfair to their Dear Leader:
JENKINS: Now we need to just do a quick explanation for our viewers to get some context, and that is, the president was in a gaggle, meaning there was no cameras there and he was asked about his meeting with Putin, and he said he believes Putin means what he says. The press reporting then, that he believes Vladimir Putin on no meddling, but, it was taken out of context as he felt compelled to clarify, which is he says, well I believe Putin believes that, but, what we need to do is move on.
And our chief White House correspondent John Roberts made it very clear that it was a case of the press taking out of context and not listening to the president's inflection when he was speaking to them.
HUNTSMAN: Right. John Roberts, who's overseas on this trip was tweeting yesterday, saying how frustrated he was to see the coverage back at home, and how it wasn't honest. It wasn't accurate, because what many were saying yesterday after this happened was that president Trump didn't believe there was meddling in the election, which he's now come out and said I stand with our intelligence community, which have come out and said Russia did try to meddle in the election, so it's so important here to get the facts right.
The ones missing the context were his cheerleaders on Fox "news" who conveniently forgot to mention Trump's additional remarks attacking the intelligence agency leaders: Trump slams former US intel leaders as 'political hacks':
President Trump on Saturday lashed out at U.S. intelligence leaders for their conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, calling them “political hacks” and slamming the investigations into Russian interference as a “Democratic hit job.”
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump blasted former U.S. intelligence officials by name, including former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former FBI Director James Comey.
"I mean, give me a break, they are political hacks," Trump said, according to White House pool reports. He was discussing the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia sought to influence the 2016 election in favor of Trump.
"So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey," he continued. "Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker.”
“So you look at that and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with them," he continued, referring to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Trump said that the investigation into Russian interference in the election was a “Democratic-inspired thing” and a “pure hit job."
Trump went on to say that he wasn’t going to “argue” with Putin about whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
“He said he didn’t meddle, he said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” Trump said, according to pool reports.
“I can’t stand there and argue with him, I would rather have him get out of Syria, I would rather get to work with him on the Ukraine," he added.
Yes, context does matter. Just not to the liars on Fox.