News & Politics

Trump Now Claims He Stood Up to Putin — Here Are 5 Reasons That's Hard to Believe

The president sat down for a rare interview with CBS.

Photo Credit: CBS

President Donald Trump declared on Wednesday in an interview with CBS that he stood up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and told him not to meddle in American elections at their Helsinki summit on Monday.

"I let him know we can't have this, we're not going to have it, and that's the way it's going to be," he told interviewer Jeff Glor.

But after more than two days have passed since Trump met with the foreign leader and stood beside him during a widely derided press conference, the president's new spin is hard to believe.

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Here are five reasons why.

First, the remark in the interview came after Trump said that he believes Russia interfered in the 2016 election, saying “I’ve said that before.” Trump has previously said that he believes Russia intervened — but he has also denied it, raised doubts about it, promoted alternative conspiracy theories, called it a “hoax.”

He’s had pretty much every opinion on the matter possible — aside from full-throated denunciation of Russia — so it’s hard to take anything he says about the matter seriously.

Second, the interview itself is clearly a cleanup job. Many Republicans began denouncing the president after his press conference with Putin, whom Trump praised and said he believed. Trump rarely backs down from his ridiculous positions, but he knows he has to change strategies when GOP politicians aren't willing to defend him.

And he and his aides have now come out multiple times to contradict his own statements — so it's anyone's guess what he might say next.

Third, as MSNBC analyst Matthew Miller pointed out, the idea that Trump took a stand against Putin behind closed doors isn't commensurate with the public press conference he held right after the meeting.

“So he wants us to believe that he took this strong line in private immediately before coming out publicly and casting doubt on whether it happened last time?” Miller said in a tweet. “Please.”

Fourth, Trump's tone throughout the entire exchange about Russia is entirely resigned and mellow. He's not discussing an accomplishment he's proud of, the way he is when he claims (falsely) that his administration has already started building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He looks like he's being forced to say something he doesn't believe.

Fifth, It’s always worth repeating: President Trump is a liar, and his lies have been increasing in recent weeks and months. If his lips are moving, it’s pretty much safe to assume he’s lying.

Watch the clip below:

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.