Trump made a huge admission about Russia, and now his campaign is trying to pretend it didn't happen.
On Thursday morning, Trump claimed on Twitter that he "had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected." Then he deleted it and tweeted it a second time. Now, in a scramble to deny Trump meant what he said, his campaign claims his line about Russia helping him was just a typo.
"The editors at @nytimes want nothing more than to take one typo and have it redefine 10,000 on the record comments. Disgusting and unprofessional!" Brad Parscale, Trump's campaign manager, said in a tweet. Parscale was unhappy with an accurate New York Times headline, "Trump Admits to Russia 'Helping Me Get Elected.'"
Both U.S. intelligence agencies and special counsel Robert Mueller agree that Russia used criminal tactics to interfere in the U.S. election with the clear goal of installing Trump in the White House. In fact, Mueller's team handed down indictments against multiple Russian individuals and organizations which lay out exactly how the Russian government was involved in complex schemes to help Trump.
After Trump briefly admitted the truth, he immediately backtracked after being asked about it by a reporter.
"No, Russia did not help me get elected," Trump said about an hour after saying that Russia helped him get elected.
Rather than defend the American intelligence community, Trump vehemently disagreed with their assessment and sided with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who has maintained that his country did not interfere in the 2016 election.
For a very brief moment Thursday, it seemed as if Trump was finally willing to admit the criminal activities of a foreign adversary attacking America's democratic process.
But in the end, Trump threw the U.S. intel community under the bus and once again, taking Putin's side, and refusing to accept the truth of how he ended up in the White House.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.