Donald Trump released what appeared to be a bombshell on Thursday with a purported public admission that Russian interference helped him win the 2016 presidential election.
Hours later, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager went on the attack against a news outlet reporting Trump’s words, saying that it had simply been a “typo.”
The sequence of events started early on Thursday when Donald Trump wrote a tweet in which he seemed to admit that Russia helped him win the election.
“Russia, Russia, Russia! That’s all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax…And now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected,” Trump wrote, via Newsweek.
The statement caused an immediate stir as Trump has long denied that Russian interference helped him win the 2016 presidential election. Trump had even gone so far as to side with Vladimir Putin in a controversial joint press conference, saying he believed the Russian president’s statement that Russia had not interfered — even over the assessment of intelligence agencies.
Later on Thursday, Trump walked back his own comments.
“No, Russia did not help me get elected,” he said. “You know who got me elected? I got me elected. Russia didn’t help me at all.”
Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, then went on the attack on Twitter. Linking to a New York Times article that had reported on Trump’s tweet, Parscale launched into the newspaper and called Trump’s statement a “typo.” Parscale did not specify what part of the tweet was written in error or what Trump had meant to write.
The @nytimes clearly knows this is NOT TRUE. @realDonaldTrump stated unequivocally during his presser this is FALSE.— Brad Parscale (@parscale) May 30, 2019
The editors at @nytimes want nothing more than to take one typo and have it redefine 10,000 on the record comments. Disgusting and unprofessional! pic.twitter.com/5udyvHvaLg
Parscale’s tweet generated significant pushback, with many quoting Trump’s exact words in saying that Russia had helped him to win the election.
Donald Trump’s actions related to the Russia investigation have come into sharp focus this week with the first public statement from special counsel Robert Mueller, who emphasized that it was against Department of Justice policy to indict a sitting president. His statement was taken by many to be a call for Congress to make the final call on whether Trump obstructed justice, matching the conclusions of the Russia report.
President Trump appeared to acknowledge that Russia helped his election in 2016, but rowed back minutes later. https://t.co/U0VFORhPF8— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 30, 2019
A growing number of Democrats and even a Republican, Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, have called for impeachment proceedings to begin. Democratic Party leadership, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have been hesitant in pushing forward with impeachment, however, fearful of doing so without the support of Republicans and strong backing by the American people.