Blame it on that pesky double negative.
After 27 hours of near-universal condemnation, U.S. President Donald Trump claimed July 17 he simply misspoke in Helsinki when he said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that interfered in the U.S. election.
“The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative,” Trump said.
But even as Trump said he accepted U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusions that Russia was behind the 2016 election hacking, he added, as he has before: “It could be other people also. A lot of people out there.”
So the world was left to wonder: Was he really tripped up by a double negative or was that clarification really a cleanup operation?
Even if it was a mere grammatical glitch, Trump made plenty of other comments in the same July 16 news conference in Finland that gave Russia the benefit of the doubt.
He declined to say whether he believed the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered over the denials of Russian President Vladimir Putin. And he blamed the poor state of relations between the two superpowers on foolishness by both countries. (AP)