So the video above shows Donald Trump, on Wednesday, telling CBS’s Jeff Glor that it’s “true” Russia meddled in the 2016 election, and also that he “would” hold Vladimir Putin responsible for that meddling.
Ostensibly, that’s the same Donald Trump who said “no”, on this very same Wednesday, when asked by a reporter at a cabinet meeting if Russia was targeting the midterm elections in November.
Presumably, it’s also the same Donald Trump who, on Monday, while standing next to Vladimir Putin, said he “didn’t see any reason why it would be” Russia who meddled in a U.S. election.
I guess it’s also the same Donald Trump who, on Tuesday, told reporters that when he said (on Monday) that he “didn’t see any reason why it would be” Russia, what he actually meant was that he “didn’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be.”
Finally, I think that’s also the same Donald Trump who, according to what Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon, “didn’t mean to say ‘no'” when asked if Russia was still targeting the U.S.
I used “ostensibly”, “presumably”, “I guess” and “I think” because it is no longer clear how many people Donald Trump actually is. He has said so many contradictory things over the past 72 hours that nobody can keep up with him anymore, which is either some kind of Jedi mind trick or else evidence that he’s just lying in circles. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go with the latter explanation.
The full interview with Glor is going to air on Wednesday evening and one certainly imagines it will be something to behold, but in lieu of that, you can find the transcript of Trump’s exchange with CBS regarding Russian meddling below. Do try and see if you can reconcile it with anything he’s said over the past week and good luck keeping your sanity intact.
GLOR: “You say you agree with U.S. intelligence that Russia meddled in the election in 2016.”
TRUMP: “Yeah and I’ve said that before, Jeff. I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that is true, yeah.”
GLOR: “But you haven’t condemned Putin, specifically. Do you hold him personally responsible?”
TRUMP: “Well, I would, because he’s in charge of the country. Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes.”
GLOR: “What did you say to him?”
TRUMP: “Very strong on the fact that we can’t have meddling, we can’t have any of that – now look. We’re also living in a grown-up world. Will a strong statement – you know – President Obama supposedly made a strong statement – nobody heard it. What they did hear is a statement he made to Putin’s very close friend. And that statement was not acceptable. Didn’t get very much play relatively speaking. But that statement was not acceptable. But I let him know we can’t have this, we’re not going to have it, and that’s the way it’s going to be.”
“The president never doesn’t mean the opposite of what he doesn’t not say.”
-Sarah Huckabee Sanders pic.twitter.com/FiMEaolFY3
— Diane N. Sevenay (@Diane_7A) July 18, 2018