May be it was another ‘misspoke’ as US President Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday that no president has been as “tough” on Russia as he has been.
But moments after he contradicted his intelligence agencies when asked if Russia was still targeting the United States.
Trump, facing criticism that he failed to hold Russian leader Vladimir Putin to account at their Helsinki summit, said “we’re doing very well, probably as well as anybody has ever done with Russia.
“Look at what we’ve done. Look at sanctions,” Trump said at a cabinet meeting at the White House.
“And I think President Putin knows that better than anybody,” he said. “Certainly a lot better than the media.
“He understands it, and he’s not happy about it,” Trump said. “And he shouldn’t be happy about it because there’s never been a president as tough on Russia as I have been.”
Trump replied “no” when asked if Russia, accused by US intelligence agencies of interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign and continuing to do so, was still targeting the United States.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later explained the quote, saying the president “said ‘thank you very much’ and was saying ‘no’ to answering questions.”