The week Trump couldn't quite correct his own story

For President Trump, it was a week of communication breakdowns.

Trump emerged from his summit with Vladimir Putin for a joint press conference in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, and promptly endorsed the Russian president’s denial that he had attempted to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, contrary to the unanimous conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies.

“I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said in response to a reporter’s question. “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Trump’s jaw-dropping assertion sent shock waves throughout Washington and the world and prompted Dan Coats, his own director of national intelligence, to reaffirm what he has been saying for a year and a half about Russian interference in the campaign, adding that “it was important to take that stand on behalf of the intelligence community and on behalf of the American people.”
“We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security,” Coats said in a written statement.

With news outlets, members of Congress and the public expressing dismay over Trump’s performance at Putin’s side, the West Wing was left scrambling to try to contain the fallout.
Still, it took Trump more than 24 hours to attempt to clarify his comments. Reading from a prepared statement at the White House on Tuesday, Trump claimed he simply misspoke in Helsinki.
“I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,’” Trump said. “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.”