CNN's Jake Tapper Tears Apart Trump's 'Attempted Cleanup' of His Putin Summit Debacle

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump attempted to dampen the blowback he received for his subservient press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin by supposedly clarifying his remarks casting doubt on the intelligence community's finding that Moscow directed efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.


But, as CNN's Jake Tapper explained, Trump even undermined this apparent backtracking with his own ad-libbing.

Trump's reversal rested on his claim at the press conference referring to the culprit of election interference being Russia: "I don't see any reason why it would be." In front of reporters Tuesday, Trump read a statement saying he really meant to say, "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be."

Tapper noted that this explanation doesn't fit the facts.

"Even in the president's assertion, note: The president made an aside, not in his prepared remarks, that completely undermined the assertion he was making," Tapper said. "The assertion was that he accepts that it was Russia. But then he noted that it could have been other people too, completely contradicting the intelligence community."

He continued: "The problems of his comments far exceed 'would vs. wouldn't.' In his comments yesterday, he repeated — twice — that Putin was 'powerful' in his denial of election interference. Not to mention the rest of what the president said: his mention of the DNC server, which is a favorite subject of those who don't believe that Russian military intelligence officials of the GRU hacked the DNC server."

Aside from Trump's obviously contradictory remarks, though, Tapper noted that inside sources reveal Trump's true feelings.

"White House sources tell me that what the president said in Helsinki — his skepticism of the intelligence community's assertions about the Russian cyber attacks, an affinity for Putin, a desire to side with the Russian president on this and other issues — that's what the president says privately!" Tapper said. "In other words, what we heard in Helsinki — that's what President Trump believes."

Watch the clip below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.