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President Trump Just Tried To Take Back His Comments About Vladimir Putin Meddling In Election

It's difficult to distance yourself from... yourself, but that's what Donald Trump is doing. 

Trump talked to reporters Saturday about Vladimir Putin and Russia's interference in the 2016 election:

He said he didn't meddle. He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that,' and I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it. I think he is very insulted by it.

The problem Trump is running into, however, is his statement contradicts the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies and former high-ranking officials James Comey, John Brennan, and James Clapper.

During a flight aboard Air Force One from Da Nang to Hanoi, Trump went on to say:

There was no collusion. Everybody knows there was no collusion. I think it's a shame that something like that could destroy a very important potential relationship between two countries that are really important countries.

Trump continued to undermine Comey, Brennan and Clapper:

I mean, give me a break, they are political hacks," Trump said. "So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker. So you look at that and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with them.

But CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who Trump appointed, stands by the U.S. intelligence findings. 

The CIA released a statement in response to Trump's claims:

The Director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment entitled: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections. The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed.


 But during a Sunday news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Trump changed his tune:

As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted. As currently led, by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.


But after Trump seemed to backpedal, citing loyalty to the CIA, he went on to explain he still believes Putin:

I believe that President Putin really feels, and feels strongly, that he did not meddle in our election. What he believes is what he believes.


Trump then took to Twitter to explain his "it's complicated" relationship status with Putin:


H/T: HuffPost, CNN