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Trump Says He Misspoke


President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as he meets with members of Congress in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, in Washington. Trump says he meant the opposite when he said in Helsinki that he doesn't see why Russia would have interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Trump Says He Misspoke
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Facing criticism from all sides, President Donald Trump says he misspoke during his visit to Helsinki, Finland. Trump says he accepts the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The president said that after reading a transcript of his Helsinki comments, he realized he misspoke. Trump said, “The sentence should have been, ’I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia” instead of “why it would.”

"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. Could be other people also. A lot of people out there. There was no collusion at all.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump was trying to “squirm away” from his comments beside Russian President Vladimir Putin. Schumer added, “It’s 24 hours too late and in the wrong place.”

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, July 16, 2018.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, July 16, 2018.

The two leaders held a press conference after their meeting Monday in Helsinki. Trump was asked whether he believe U.S. intelligence findings or Putin’s denial of interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

“My people came to me, [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me and some others and said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server. But I have confidence in both parties.”

The comment in Helsinki received sharp criticism from U.S. lawmakers and foreign leaders. But Trump continued to say that the media misrepresented his comments.

Early on Tuesday, the president tweeted, “While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, it is not being reported that way - the Fake News is going Crazy!”

I’m Jonathan Evans.

Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on an AP story. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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Words in This Story

transcript –n. a written record of spoken words

meddling –n. unwelcome involvement in activities and matters of others

collusion –n. secret cooperation for an illegal or dishonest purpose

squirm –v. to move around in a twisting, uncomfortable way

server –n. the main computer in a network that provides files for other computers

vast –adj. extremely large

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