Bush misremembered, Trump misspoke

Apparently Donald Trump has realized that he had to do some furious backpedaling after the fallout from his Helsinki remarks that he disagreed with the FBI about Russian meddling in the last Presidential election. An hour ago CNN posted this:

President Trump moments ago said he misspoke during his Monday news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump was talking about interference in the 2016 election when he said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” the Russians.

Now, Trump says he meant to say why it “wouldn’t be” Russia.

“In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,'” Trump said today. “The sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.”

Does anybody really believe that, or is this a product of Trump’s “clean up the mess” team? Have a look at this (h/t: Grania):


  1. George
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Today, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Putin Trump’s case officer. I actually do not think that Trump is a Russian asset. A real Russian asset would do a much better job of staying hidden. More like stooge or lackey. Or maybe the Tangerine Wankmaggot (my favorite sign from his weekend in the UK) is just going over the top as a way of hiding in plain sight.

    We have to deal with this idiot for at least two and a half more years. If it goes longer than that, I am off to Ireland. One benefit of having a saintly Irish mother.

    • Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. Too clumsy to be an actual asset. I see Trump as more of an Inspector Clouseau type character. Utterly incompetent, yet inexplicably successful despite his incompetence.

      • W.T. Effingham
        Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Clouseau: “Does your dog bite?” Hotel Manager: ” No.”

        • mikeyc
          Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          “Zat iz not my dog”

    • GBJames
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      I’ll only say what I have before… there’s no mutual exclusivity between “stooge/lackey” and “asset”. The former are just subsets of the latter.

      • Posted July 17, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, he’s certainly an asset in the general sense of the word—just not in the sense of being an official Russian agent.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

          Define “official”.

          • Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

            I guess I meant that I don’t think he’s paid by the GRU to carry out orders. He’s probably just easily manipulated. And they likely have dirt on him—which, admittedly, would make him no different from a Russian agent, if he’s being blackmailed by Putin. Except it would make him a victim rather than a volunteer. Not that that would absolve him of treason.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

              He’s been paid huge sums for a long time. We have to get the tax forms.

              • Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

                I guess I’m a bit naive. I suppose there’s no meaningful difference between being employed by the Russian government and receiving whatever benefits he gets in his business deals over there.

      • nicky
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Indeed, in fact he was already in the Russian oligarch’s mafia (Mr Putin’s) pocket before they decided he should run for president. Check the Sater email, the infamous “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” mail.

  2. Mike Anderson
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Presented for context, the “would” where Donald wants to revise to “wouldn’t” underlined:

    My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others; they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be, but I really do want to see the server. But I have confidence in both parties. … I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails.

    So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. And what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people [Russian agents indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for election interference]. I think that’s an incredible offer.

    • Mike Anderson
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Oops. “wouldn’t” bolded not underlined.

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        “I have President Putin.” Huh?

        Once it’s put into context, it’s obvious that he didn’t misspeak.

      • Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Bold move.

      • Craw
        Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink


      • JezGrove
        Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Surely this is where you claim you said “bolded” all along, despite the evidence to the contrary?

    • Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Wow. He brought up Clinton’s emails again? Back to the 2016 campaign playbook. Absurd.

    • Posted July 17, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      I’m still stuck on the fact that Trump wasn’t disqualified when he said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” That was treasonous, right there. He should have been disqualified immediately by his own party. There should have been some judicial process by which he was removed from the race. Apparently there wasn’t an adult in the room, though.

      • Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        Judicial process was not needed. The RNC could have done it themselves. The Republican elite can’t disown him.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

        There were so, so many moments like that. I think everybody has their ‘how the hell is he still a candidate after this?’ moment. Mine was where he joked-but-not-really about his gun-owning supporters murdering his democratic opponent. I remember there was about an hour’s worth of outrage, an hour where the media discussed the fact that a candidate had basically encouraged his supporters to kill his opponent, and then it never came up again.


        • Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

          Yeah. Wow, I had forgotten about that one. I kept thinking that someone needed to keep a comprehensive public list of all his outrages. There must be one somewhere.

          • Neil Wolfe
            Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            Someday there will be a Trump Presidential Library where all the outrages will be amplified and on display. If I’m ever in Moscow I will be sure to check it out.

  3. BobTerrace
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    No one believes Trump. He is a liar and a coward.

    I will not be satisfied until he is executed as a traitor.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” – (from the Stones’ song Spanky the Tangerine Wankmaggot tried to co-opt until instructed otherwise). While I share your thoughts about dj cHUMP, I have this bizarre notion it might be good if he lives long enough to possibly understand his “legacy” – how he actually measures in the world of self-obsessed, egomaniacal, wannabes. IF he ever were to grow up and become aware of the meaning of Public Service, he could actually be involved in amending some of the damage by the fifth decade…OK sorry about this warped digression😬.

      • W.T. Effingham
        Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        “amending” should be “mending”😎.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately, with that sort of mentality, it will never happen. If you changed his brain that much it would be a different person.


        • W.T. Effingham
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          Very good point. I was having similar thoughts when I cut myself off for digression and not considering his record since I first saw the critiques on The Art of the Deal back in the eighties. He’s not changing that way ever.

    • Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      42% approval rating according to Fivethirtyeight.com. Some people believe him.

      Also there’s this.

      A woman called a TV programme to thank the Russians for interfering because it stopped Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

      • Posted July 20, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        I think that many people “approving” him in polls just regard him as the lesser evil. I suppose few believe him. I don’t believe most people for whom I vote.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          Lesser evil? We are not in an election. There is no alternate “evil” to be the “lesser” of.

          Give his supporters the due respect of accepting that they actually support him.

          • Posted July 21, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            People are always thinking of the alternative. It makes little sense to rant against reality without any idea how to change it. Of those whose opinions I know, every single one who is against Trump expressed support for Clinton before the elections, usually as the perceived lesser evil, a few genuinely liked her. The same way, those who found the Democratic policies unacceptable before the elections are still finding them unacceptable, and feel forced to support Trump.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 21, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

              tRump supporter are cultists. There is no acceptable alternative to them since Vladmir Putin is currently unavailable to them.

              • Posted July 21, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

                This is not my impression.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 21, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

                Yes, I know.

        • Posted July 22, 2018 at 4:27 am | Permalink

          This is his approval rating, it’s how many people think he is doing a reasonable job. It’s not “would you prefer to have Hilary?”

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    It depends on what the meaning of “is” is

    Sorry couldn’t help it.

    • JezGrove
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Clinton’s explanation is finally made to appear (relatively) believable.

  5. Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Delusional. Just delusional.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    This one little lie or whatever it is means nothing. Everything else he said and did was for his handler Putin. If he has a tape of the 2 hours he did in private with Putin, we’ll take that for starters. But guess what? He has nothing. You can be damn sure Putin has it all on tape. Just something else he can pull out and use against his new puppet.

  7. chris moffatt
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    @Mike Anderson: makes sense either way.

  8. Teresa Carson
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    No one believes him. Someone told him that saying he misspoke would fix his little problem. He even said that he had used a double negative and that he thought his new statement explained what he really meant. No double negative involved. I’m fairly certain he doesn’t even know what a double negative is. I keep hoping his little visit with Putin will result in his departure from the White House. His presence in our daily life is just unbearable.

  9. Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  10. BJ
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    It’s not like it was a single sentence tweet. It was couched in a whole spiel in defense of Russia/Putin. You can’t just change one word and make it all go away.

    • JezGrove
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Apparently you can, sadly. Tomorrow the dog will have barked and the media caravan will have moved on to his next even greater stupidity; in a couple of months we’ll be left struggling to remember what was so remarkable about the “would/wouldn’t” debacle.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      When you listen to the inflection in his voice, it is obvious that he emphasized the word “would”. Anyone, and I mean *anyone*, that accepts this explanation should be publicly called out as a liar or an idiot.

      • W.T. Effingham
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Plus the inflection (or lack of inflection) in his voice when he attempts to read his spin doctors’ pre-prepared retraction with his eyes riveted to the page…not convincing.

    • Posted July 20, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      You are quite right.

  11. Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I don’t believe him, of course. But just for the sake of argument, let’s take him at face value. He was correcting a double negative — from “I don’t see any reason why it would be” to “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be” [the Russians].

    The second sentence translates to, “I see [a} reason why it would be” [the Russians].

    In other words, to elect Trump and defeat Clinton.

    • YF
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Right, so charitably giving him this ‘correction’, he is now effectively admitting that Russia probably tampered with the election, and yet he still did not condemn or hold Russia accountable in any way.

      Hence, either way you cut it, he is a traitor.

  12. JezGrove
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Even if you were to believe Trump’s ridiculous “clarification”, as the BBC’s Washington reporter Anthony Zurcher points out: “The damage, however, has been done. Mr Trump can give as many White House statements as he likes, but on the biggest stage – standing beside the Russian president – he fumbled. All the explanations can’t change that.” [https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44864739]

    • BJ
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      It wasn’t really a fumble. It was more like being repeatedly tackled in your own end zone for safety after safety and failing to score a single point of your own.

  13. Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    While some Republicans may be shocked by Trump’s performance, few of his base will worry about it. At this stage they are behaving cultishly, so will simply adjust their internal narratives to avoid the cognitive dissonance of admitting they have been taken in by a fascist tangerine.

  14. Jacob
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Plus, he’s only reiterating what he’s said in the past!

    “Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ [interfere in the election] and I believe, I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”

    Of course he’s also said that he believes the US intelligence agencies too, but this isn’t the first time that he’s said “A” and “~A.”

  15. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I just read that the self-professed “very stable genius” is now called here in EU weak, stooge or … Putin’s Poodle.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      I also liked this hint of internal White House reactions: if you don’t like to see your president possible being a deliberate traitor, choose option B.

      “White House: Trump Isn’t a Traitor, Just a Cognitively Impaired Egotist”


      [But option B makes the existence of pre-campaigning mistakes leading up to this behavior even more likely…]

    • pierluigi Ballabeni
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 1:37 am | Permalink

      In a European country outside the EU he has been called Putin’s useful idiot.

  16. allison
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Looks like he misspelled ‘collusion’…🤣

  17. amyt
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Total back pedaling. Also, for someone who has little grasp on vocabulary he wouldn’t know a double negative if it bit him on his arse. Of course this now gives the few R’s that called tRump out on this a reason to back pedal as well. Bicycle built for two.

    • nicky
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      No criticism, but just curiosity, what is the thing, joke or insult behind “tRump”?

      • amyt
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        It’s my understanding that:
        1) He doesn’t deserve to have his last name capitalized
        2) The r is capitalized to read as “Rump” He’s an ass. “R” also for republican. Others may want to pipe in.

  18. Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Donald Trump is in Moscow in for the Miss Universe contest. He owns the rights. (Fake News has it that he pops into the girls’ dressing room unannounced.)

    Trump is desperate to meet Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin. He needs Putin’s approval for a Trump-branded Moscow hotel.

    Putin stands him up, and instead sends a gift box of undisclosed contents and two prostitutes.

    The prostitutes present Trump with the box, express Vlad’s regrets, and ask if he requires any other services.

    Trump replies, “Go home to your mothers. I’ll pray for you.”

  19. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    “There are good people on both sides … on both sides,” is what he meant to say.

    Trump’s excuse is risible. Christ, he’s been tweeting about Russia’s denial of meddling for weeks leading up to this, and the statement he changed today was entirely consistent with all the other denials he’s given, both before and during the presser with Putin.

    His playacting today was the product of a meeting with his national security team where he told them to give him some way to deny saying what he said. He then immediately departed from their prepared text to ad lib the line “could be other people also … there’s a lotta people out there.” Then he went into his usual bout of Tourette syndrome, repeatedly blurting out “No collusion, no collusion, NO COLLUSION.”

  20. gluonspring
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    That’s not the half of it. He actually crossed out a line in the written remarks about bringing “anyone involved in the meddling to justice.” I kid you not.


    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Sure acts like an innocent man, don’t he?

      • Posted July 17, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        No, he don’t.

      • gluonspring
        Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        The rubes will buy it, though. Rube is an earned title, after all.

        • Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          If democrats keep using words like rube they are going to keep losing.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

            This is the argument that everyone who considers themselves a liberal has to be impeccably polite in all their public discussions of Trump supporters…while Trump supporters have no responsibility whatsoever to curtail their usual venom or reconsider their defense of a moronic, lying, criminal president with malign intentions for the western world. And if this rather asymmetrical concordat is broken by liberals at any point then…they lose and Trump wins.

            Well, we’ll see I guess.

            • Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

              I object to use of demeaning words toward all groups, not just against the right. If you lower yourself to that level of argument you lower our level of the standards of acceptable behavior of our society. Hate speech should be avoided whether it comes from the left or from the right. No one is asking that you be impeccable
              . Just try to maintain descent behavior, even to those with whom you disagree.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 18, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

                I object to language policing by people who think “rube” is hate speech.

              • Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

                Use of words like that to describe groups of people cause backlash and should be avoided in campaigns. See Hillary’s use of the word deplorables in 2016 and Romney’s reference to the 47 per centers in 2012. Those are two examples of causing divisions can be self damaging.Words have consequences and can alienate voters and cost elections. And elections have consequences.

          • Ken Phelps
            Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

            It is ironic that the rubes are so easily triggered.

            • Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

              Using demeaning words to describe groups is unacceptable. There are derogatory words for all groups of people. Those words are not used or acceptable on our society. The head of Papa John’s Pizza just lost his business for using one of those words. Anyone who uses those type of words on my opinion deserves no respect, is being decisive and disrespect and dies not deserve to hold public office.

          • gluonspring
            Posted July 30, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            They call me a lot worse, and there they sit, in the White House, so I don’t believe this.

          • Posted July 30, 2018 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

            Calling Trump supporters rubes is cathartic, but you’re probably right that it’s not a winning message for the Democrats. The puzzling thing is that the same strategy of invective works beautifully for Trump and his supporters. It’s asymmetrical warfare. Democrats have to be civil, while Trump invites Ted Nugent and Kid Rock to the White House and praises Alex Jones.

  21. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Considering the randomness of what tRump generally says, and his 5-minute attention span, I find it almost absurd to be reading precise meanings into his verbal utterances.

    He probably thought at his press conference in Russia that he was being diplomatic* in not criticising Putin who was standing beside him. It was a leading question that he was asked, a more capable politician would have deflected it.

    *He probably knows the meaning of the word ‘diplomacy’, just not how to do it right.


  22. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    The transcript of the Trump-Putin presser on the official White House website has omitted Putin’s answer that he wanted Trump to win the presidential election.

    Used to be, it was the Russians who would send the inconvenient down the memory-hole, not us.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Bloody hell. That’s one of the scariest things of this whole shambolic couple of days. I guess authoritarians of any political stripe inevitably start to shade into 1984 territory eventually.

  23. Posted July 17, 2018 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Amazed at Trumps backpedaling re Russia and wish to pass on this story for you.

    Sue Smalldon. Australia


    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Yes, I read that story. They have guts.

    • Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      It broke my heart.

  24. John Black
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    He also misspoke a few months ago… he intended to say “very stable idiot.”

  25. Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    In two or three days at the most he’ll be denying Russian meddling again and calling the investigation a witch hunt.

    And half the US will either not have noticed or not have stopped laughing since 2016, (or looking forward to their round of guffawing after the mid-terms).

  26. Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    With this Putin debacle, at least we have finally seen something that causes even Trump’s staunchest supporters to give pause.

    Even FOX news, which functions as a both a source of information for Trump and his unofficial public relations department, went after him pretty hard.

    This give some reason for hope. Up until now, I thought that he could light a baby on fire and get away with it.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Some of Fox News have broken ranks, but not the big dogs. Carlson and Hannity have been working overtime to help their asset tidy up his mess.

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        Reminds me of one of my neighbor’s two big dogs (rottweilers) who seem to spend a good share of their day wandering around the property trying to find where the cat buried their lunch…

  27. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Worst lame excuse from Trump since he claimed, during the campaign, that his failure to renounce the endorsement of Klansman David Duke was due to a faulty earpiece.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      To be fair to Trump, I once shot a Chinaman because I left my phone on vibrate. It can happen to anyone.

  28. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I went and looked at r/the donald on reddit – they were acclaiming his latest tweet as a work of “shitposting genius”, “his best ever”. They parsed his posts and reinterpreted them as brilliantly subtle counterjabs, and ranked him on the ‘seventh level of intelligence’, which is ‘god-like’ apparently.
    They are completely open about it: their president is a troll and that is what they love about him.

  29. veroxitatis
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    As someone said on a blog I noticed (I paraphrase since I cannot remember the exact words used) – (Speaking in words is for Trump much like painting with paint for a chimpanzee”.

  30. Zetopan
    Posted July 22, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    “Apparently Donald Trump has realized that he had to do some furious backpedaling after the fallout from his Helsinki remarks that he disagreed with the FBI about Russian meddling in the last Presidential election.”

    Trump is *way* too stupid to make that realization; his handler’s wrote that walk back speech. In addition to Trump adding “there was no colusion[sic]” to the written speech, he also crossed out a line about bringing the election hackers to justice.
    Also note how uncomfortable Trump’s body language is when reading the walk back – he didn’t really want to parrot that writing.


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