President Trump said Tuesday he believes the U.S. intelligence community's assessment on Russian election interference took place. In a statement on his joint press conference with Russian President Putin, the president said he meant to say, 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia,' instead of 'would.'
"Let me begin by saying that once again full faith and support for America's intelligence agencies, I have a full faith in our intelligence agencies," Trump said.
"I realized that there is a need for some clarification," Trump said. "It should have been obvious, I thought it would be obvious but I would like to clarify just in case it wasn't. In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't.'"
"The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't or why it wouldn't be Russia,'" he added.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: My meeting with President Putin was really interesting in so many different ways because we haven't had relationships with Russia for a long time. And we started. Let me begin by saying that once again full faith and support for America's intelligence agencies, I have a full faith in our intelligence agencies. Oops, they just turned off the lights. That must be the intelligence agencies. There it goes, okay. Are you guys okay? Good. That was strange. But that's okay. So I'll begin by stating that I have full faith and support for America's great intelligence agencies, always have.
I have felt very strongly that while Russia's actions had no impact at all on the outcome of the election, let me be totally clear in saying that -- and I've said this many times -- I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. It could be other people also. There's a lot of people out there.
There was no collusion at all, and people have seen that and they've seen that strongly. The House has already come out very strongly on that. A lot of people have come out strongly on that. I thought that I made myself very clear by having just reviewed the transcript. Now, I have to say, I came back and I said, what is going on? What's the big deal?
So I got a transcript. I reviewed it. I actually went out and reviewed a clip of an answer that I gave and I realized that there is a need for some clarification. It should have been obvious, I thought it would be obvious but I would like to clarify just in case it wasn't. In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't.'
The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't or why it wouldn't be Russia.'
So, just to repeat it, I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't,' and the sentence should have been and I thought I would be maybe a little bit unclear on the transcript or unclear on the actual video. The sentence should have been I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia. Sort of a double negative.
So you can put that in and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.
I have on numerous occasions noted our intelligence findings that Russians attempted to interfere in our elections. Unlike previous administrations, my administration has and will continue to move aggressively to repeal any efforts and repel, we will stop it and we will repel it, any efforts to interfere in our elections. We're doing everything in our power to prevent Russian interference in 2018.
We have a lot of power.
As you know, President Obama was given information just prior to the election, last election, 2016, and they decided not to do anything about it. The reason they decided that was pretty obvious to all. They thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the election. And they didn't think it was a big deal. When I won the election they thought it was a very big deal. And all of a sudden they went into action but it was a little bit late. So he was given that in sharp contrast to the way it should be.
President Obama along with [Former CIA director John] Brennan and [Former DNI James] Clapper and the whole group that you see on television now probably getting paid a lot of money by your networks, they knew about Russia's attempt to interfere in the election in September and they totally buried it. As I said, they buried it because they thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win. Turned out it didn't happen that way. By contrast, my administration has taken a very firm stance.