President Donald Trump’s attempt at damage control isn’t going over so well.
Trump claimed Tuesday that he misspoke when he said he accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denial that the Kremlin had interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“President Putin just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said Monday at a press conference with the Russian leader. “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
After political figures on both sides of the aisle severely criticized Trump for dismissing the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russie meddled in the election, the president claimed he hadn’t meant to say what he did.
“I would like to clarify, in a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,’” he said. “The sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’”
That may be what Trump is selling, but not many people appear to be buying it.
Trump’s excuse is being questioned by politicians ...
Even though English was the second language I learned, I know the difference between 'would' and 'wouldn't'.
— José E. Serrano (@RepJoseSerrano) July 17, 2018
I just don’t buy the President’s comments today. If he wanted to take a stand on Russian election interference, he should have had the strength to do it in front of Vladimir Putin.
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) July 17, 2018
President Trump is adamant there was ‘no collusion,’ yet equally adamant about avoiding the Special Counsel.
President Trump sat down with Vladimir Putin yesterday, now he should sit down with Bob Mueller.
— Senator Jack Reed (@SenJackReed) July 17, 2018
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) July 17, 2018
... journalists ...
It's interesting Trump says Obama didn't do anything about Russian meddling (he did do something) b/c he thought Clinton was going to win while also claiming Russian meddling isn't why Clinton lost.
Is he saying if Obama had done more to stop Russia then Clinton would've won? https://t.co/habyqXNjKS
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) July 17, 2018
Even in the attempted clean-up, the president made an aside that undermined it all: “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddling in the 2016 election took place
...Could have been other people also. Lots of other people out there”
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2018
Trump is deathly afraid of being laughed at. News flash, Mr President: The world is laughing at you. This is the silliest spin ever! https://t.co/a8F0eKPxVc
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) July 17, 2018
i obviously meant to shout "I DON'T OBJECT" sorry that i ruined your wedding
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) July 17, 2018
In summary: 1) Trump is attempting one of the most implausible political clarifications in recent American history. 2) Midway through the ludicrous clarification, Trump reiterated much of the original point he was theoretically clarifying.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 17, 2018
... snarky citizens ...
I now realize my divorce could have been made far easier if I had merely explained that I had meant to say “I do..... not.”
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) July 17, 2018
A man who unironically calls himself a "very stable genius" claims it took him 30 hours to realize he said "would" instead of "wouldn't"
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) July 17, 2018
Donald Trump says he "misspoke" on election meddling and he sees no reason why Russia would not be responsible.
This man is the dumbest person on the planet.
— Denizcan Grimes (@MrFilmkritik) July 17, 2018
But some people just had lingering questions.
I can't decide which is more pathetic:
The fact that the President is trying to say he meant the opposite of what he said or the fact that rank and file Republicans believe him.
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) July 17, 2018
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.