Washington, July 18: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, July 18, tried to control the damage he inflicted on the US's reputation and the Americans' psyche by backing Russia and not his own country's intelligence.
Speaking at the White House Cabinet Room after returning from his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday (July 16), Trump clarified his speech made in Helsinki which has left the American establishment terribly upset.
Trump said he always had a great confidence on his intelligence agencies, negating what he said in Russia and also said that his remarks needed to be clarified and it was a difference between "would" and "wouldn't".
Trump said in Helsinki that Putin came up with a strong defence of his claim that Russia hadn't interfered in the American presidential election of 2016 and indicated that he was convinced with Putin's stand. ". "I don't see any reason why it (Russia) would be," he said, leaving the American establishment stunned and shocked.
Back home, Trump came up with a defence saying he actually meant an exact opposite. He said the sentence would have been "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia" - a "sort of a double negative".
The president said replacing "would" with "wouldn't" in his speech clarified things.
Trump also tried to make the mood lighter when the lights in the Cabinet room went off, saying "must be the intelligence agencies" which showed he is under pressure at home after making those remarks in the company of Putin in Helsinki.
The mainstream media was not convinced, however. The New York Times said in a report: "...Mr. Trump had joined the pantheon of dubious executive word-parsing and malapropisms, a bipartisan enterprise with decades of entries, if little precise precedent for Tuesday's excuse-making."