Trump says he "misspoke" in Helsinki
18 July 2018
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday admitted that he made a faux pas during the Helsinki summit with Russin President Vladimir Putin and that he has full confidence in US agencies on Russia.
Faced with a wave of criticism, both at home and abroad, over his performance at a Helsinki summit, President Trump said he misspoke at their joint news conference and meant to say he saw no reason why it was not Russia that interfered in the 2016 US election.
Trump told reporters at the White House that he had full faith and supports the US intelligence agencies and accepted their conclusion that Russia meddled in the election.
“The full faith and support for America's intelligence agencies — I have full faith in our intelligence agencies,” Trump said ahead of a meeting with House of Representatives Republicans about possible future tax cuts.
At Helsinki, however, Trump tried to shield Russian actions saying that they had no impact on the outcome of the June 2016 elections in the United States and that the administration would work aggressively to protect the November 2018 congressional elections.
Standing alongside Putin at the news conference in Helsinki on Monday, Trump said he was not convinced of Moscow’s role in defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“I don't see any reason why it would be,” Trump said. ”President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
Meanwhile The Guardian called Trump as the greatest threat to global peace. “His meeting with Vladimir Putin revealed the US leader to be a one-man threat to global peace and security.” It said.
While Ronald Regan preferred to call countries that the US regards as threatening international security as “outlaw states” and George W Bush called them “states of concern”, the newspaper rued that no American administration has yet come up with a term for an outlaw president – let alone a plan to deal with one, Guardian columnist and assistant editor Simon Tisdall said in a column.
“On his European tour that began last week at NATO in Brussels, which careered through England and Scotland, and ended with a dull, sickening thud in Helsinki, Trump went rogue. He proved himself, beyond all reasonable doubt, to be a one-man threat to international peace and security, a menace to America’s friends and a rare tonic for its enemies. Judging by the furore that followed Putin’s knockout victory, nobody in Washington has a clue what to do about it,” it added.
Trump also does not like multilateralism, diplomacy, defence or trade, because it entails compromise. However, his critics also see some kind of consistent intellectual or ideological underpinning to Trump’s maverick behaviour.