WASHINGTON, July 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he agreed that "Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place," contradicting his previous remarks made during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland Monday.
Speaking at a meeting with U.S. lawmakers at the White House, Trump said he was misquoted at the press conference with Putin, when he was reported saying "I don't see any reason ... why it would be Russia" to a question pressing him whether Russia meddled in U.S. politics.
Trump sought to clarify himself by saying he had said "wouldn't" instead of "would." "Sort of a double negative," he said.
The self-defense came after Trump returned home into a firestorm of criticism for his performance during a joint press conference with Putin.
When asked during the press event if he believed the assertion from U.S. spy agencies that Russia meddled with U.S. politics, Trump deflected the question and suggested that he was siding with Putin, who denied any interference in U.S. politics.