More than a day after he stood next to Russian President Vladimir Putin and sided with him over his own country’s intelligence agencies and law enforcement community, President Donald Trump tried to walk back the international mess he created by making the incredible claim that it was merely a case of him saying “would” when he should have said “wouldn’t.”
“The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative,” he said.
With the White House’s hilarious spin attempt met with head-shaking and mockery, MSNBC’s Ari Melber pointed out that Trump was clearly trolling everyone and hoping that everyone would spend their energy getting outraged over his latest little game.
After playing a clip of Trump making his ‘clarification’ statement at the top of The Beat, Melber noted that this was a “trick” that Trump does all the time but that this time it won’t work because what “matters to America is this foreign policy crisis is the same because his policy remains the same.”
“Trump invoked Putin’s denial of meddling, and undercut the CIA and attacked Mueller, and he wants everyone to talk about this — you can see it in some of the headlines in the coverage — and make it about ‘would’ versus ‘wouldn’t,'” Melber noted.
“If that sounds stupid, it’s because it is stupid, and it’s stupid by design,” he continued. “Trying to push everyone to play the word game, and then use this petty fogging to spin and pretend that maybe there was a mistake that’s being corrected.”
Melber went on to play a clip of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews explaining how Trump’s spin game works in that it is a two-step process — Trump says something his audience wants to hear and then he pretends he made a mistake, all before repeating it when they’re buying it again.
The MSNBC host then said it was time to put aside the spin and get to facts about what Trump did and didn’t do at the Helsinki and NATO summits.
Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.