Why Did Trump Alter Official Transcript Of 2018 Trump-Putin Helsinki Summit Press Conference?

President Donald Trump with President Vladimir Putin during a joint news conference in Helsinki on Monday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

It seems that the republican President Donald Trump can’t resist taking another page from the book written by the Russian President Vladimir Putin. We are going down the page of disinformation and propaganda. Remember that 7/16/18 Trump-Putin Helsinki summit press conference when a Reuters’ reporter asked something like, “President Putin, did you want President Trump to win and did you order him to be helped with this? President Putin responded in the affirmative. But the official US transcript omits this part and so does the video. It seems that a disinformation campaign is being conducted by the president’s administration.

TRUMP/ PUTIN

Here’s the rest of the story…

On July 18, 2018, Uri Friedman of the Atlantic penned the following report, “Russian Speakers Explain What Putin Actually Said About Trump” (“In Helsinki, the Russian president didn’t confess to meddling. But he left no doubt about who he wanted to win the U.S. election.”)

Excerpts:

“On Tuesday (7/17/18), I noted that one of the key exchanges in the Trump–Putin press conference in Finland doesn’t appear in full in the White House transcript, or at all in the Kremlin’s English-language transcript of the event.”

“The Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asked, “President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?” But how exactly did Vladimir Putin respond to those pointed questions?”

“If you listen to the English translation that was broadcast during the press conference, the Russian leader said, “Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.–Russia relationship back to normal.”

Cartoon by Mike Keefe - Helsinki Summit

“This rendering of Putin’s remarks leaves open the possibility that he’s stating “Yes, I did” in reference not just to wanting Donald Trump to win the 2016 presidential race, but also to ordering Russian officials to help Trump win, even though Putin repeatedly denied Russian interference in the election and collusion with the Trump campaign throughout the rest of the news conference.”

“But I’ve heard from a number of Russian speakers who point out that Putin’s actual comments in Russian concerning who he wanted to win the election are much less ambiguous than the way they were translated. He seems to have not used the phrase Yes, I did once, let alone twice. Instead, in Russian, Putin roughly said, “Yes, I wanted him to win, because he talked about the normalization of Russian–American relations.” In other words, he was apparently answering the first part of Mason’s question but not the second about whether he directed help Trump’s way. It’s unclear if that’s because Putin didn’t hear the second half of the question, it wasn’t translated into Russian accurately, or he simply chose to ignore it.”

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“The comments are still significant: Putin is publicly admitting, in the clearest form yet, that he wanted Trump to beat Hillary Clinton during the U.S. presidential campaign and that this preference stemmed from Trump’s conciliatory approach to Russia. He is acknowledging a motive for meddling in the U.S. election even as he rejects allegations that he did so.”

“As a U.S. intelligence report released in 2017 concluded, “Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump” over the course of the campaign, aspiring to “help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him” while focusing its “influence campaign” on “undermining [Clinton’s] expected presidency” when “it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election.”

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“Putin’s remark also undermines an argument Trump has made in the past: that the Kremlin might have actually preferred Clinton because she wouldn’t have been as strong a president as he is. It undercuts, too, Trump’s claim at the press conference that he didn’t see “any reason why” the Russians would interfere in the election. (The U.S. president later claimed that he meant to use a double negative and say that he didn’t see why it wouldn’t be the Russians.)”

19 comments

    • Dear Roger,

      And President Trump is so obvious about his attempts at disinformation. It’s no wonder he hates the press. But he lives in the USA and NOT IN RUSSIA.

      George Orwell was prescient of the USA of today.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

        • Dear Roger,

          This is also the blessing of the USA, it being a land of immigrants. Can you believe that President Trump once tweeted that his parents didn’t immigrate from Germany to the USA to have its doors open to immigrants?

          For the most part, it took an independent spirit and a certain level of daring for immigrants to brave this new country that made them pay their dues. Frequently they left their countries of origin because they didn’t want to be limited and to have the will of others imposed on them.

          Now they are expected to not resist.Russia picked on the wrong country.

          The irony is that President Putin couldn’t have picked a more unreliable partner. He’ll eventually figure that out in time.

          Hugs, Gronda

          Liked by 1 person

        • “Can you believe that President Trump once tweeted that his parents didn’t immigrate from Germany to the USA to have its doors open to immigrants?”
          Yes I can….When it comes to Terminal Stupidity the man is a 21st version of Typhoid Mary!
          Putin has probably already factored this into his equations, unless his vanity gets the better of him (Hubris is the very devil!)

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear Gronda. Hope you are well. It seems your president is conducting in active asymmetrical political warfare against Americas own Intelligence and Diplomatic core, and in collusion with Russia. Openly. What does America do about this? Surely an untenable, unstable and unsustainable situation for an American president/ Commander in Chief, to be in. (?) Hugs mate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gary J.,

      President Trump may not be aware as to how obvious he has been in regards to all things, Russian.

      After the recent Helsinki debacle, the US president left on cloud nine, thinking he had done a great job. He has been reeling from the negative blow-back from even news reporters at FOX TV.

      He was giving serious consideration to permitting Russia to interview 11 US citizens and 1 Britisher. The adults in the president’s cabinet had to sit on him to nix this thinking.

      If President Putin is relying on the word of President Trump, there is a London Bridge that I would like to sell to him.

      Right now, I am for the president’s recent attempts to be a poor copy of the original, President Putin. He is digging his own grave. All I can say, “Mr. President, keep on digging.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mary Plumbago,

      The president does have his base which is about 37% of the US voting popualtion.

      Here are the latest polling results published by Real Clear Politics regarding President Trump’s approval numbers:

      Wednesday, July 25
      Race/Topic (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
      President Trump Job Approval Rasmussen Reports Approve 46, Disapprove 52 Disapprove +6
      President Trump Job Approval Economist/YouGov Approve 43, Disapprove 54 Disapprove +11

      Direction of Country Economist/YouGov Right Direction 38, Wrong Track 53 Wrong Track +15

      These polling numbers do not look good for republicans.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Gronda, my deepest apologies for sounding like a troll recently. In my quest to understand and incorporate a wider perspective – in forming the big picture, i’ve ventured onto the “dark side”. Yes I must confess, I’ve been dabbling with Libertarian ideas and POVs. I see they do not appeal to the majority of your readers, so with respect to you and your awesome blog, I’ll cut out the rhetoric.

    Xena is a wonderful person i’m sure, plz let her know I’m truly sorry if she felt offended at my comments. I did sense her annoyance, and will disengage from contact. Her opinions “were extremely strong and powerful… I don’t see why she woundn’t be”. I became engrossed in our rousing discussions, as such i found her enlightening. 🙂

    Have a lovely day everyone! *Peace* ❤

    Like

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