On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that Russia does not pose a threat to the U.S., directly contradicting his director of national intelligence’s statements. As a result, in a Wednesday news briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attempted to fix Trump’s slip-up. Sanders’ comment is the second time the White House has had to reverse one of Trump’s statements concerning Russia since his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
During a Cabinet meeting in which Trump was supposed to be fixing a controversial statement he made during his press conference with Putin, he had another slip-up. He was asked by a reporter if Russia is still targeting the U.S., to which he replied, “No.” He went on to say, “There has never been a president as tough on Russia as I have been.”
Trump's statement received immediate backlash because it directly contradicted comments made by his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, who said, “We have been clear in our assessment of Russian meddling in our 2016 elections and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.”
However, Trump's loyal mouthpiece attempted to spin Trump's comment to reporters at the news briefing: Sanders told reporters that she spoke to Trump and he claims he was “saying 'no' to answering questions” instead of saying “no” to the reporter's question itself. She went on to say, “He does believe that they would target, certainly, [the] U.S. election.”
Sanders’ latest reversal of Trump’s comments comes after the White House had to twist another one of Trump’s comments that was criticized by politicians and prominent news reporters from both sides of the aisle. At the press conference with Putin on Monday, Trump said, “My people came to me … They 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.” Following an uproar, including a group of protestors waiting to welcome the “traitor” back to the White House, Trump attempted to walk back his statement. His reversal came at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday when he told reporters that he misspoke and meant to say, “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.” Yeah, sure.