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Did Trump Really Just Admit Russia Helped Him Defeat Hillary Clinton?

Yes, technically, although it’s more likely that the president has no idea what he’s talking about

President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing on Marine One for the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony, in WashingtonTrump, Washington, USA - 30 May 2019

President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing on Marine One for the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony, in Washington.

Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock

President Trump didn’t have a lot to say following Robert’s Mueller’s big statement on Wednesday. Though the now-former special counsel explained that his office did not “have confidence the president did not commit a crime” and that Justice Department guidelines precluded a potential presidential indictment, Trump responded only with a short tweet alleging that “nothing changes” and retweets of statements issued by his campaign and the White House.

The president’s typical long-winded grousing resumed Thursday morning though, and tucked away within a string of tweets ranting against the Russia probe was what appeared to be an admission that the foreign adversary helped him win the election.

“Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected,” the president wrote.

Trump has repeatedly denied his victory in 2016 was aided by Russia, despite Mueller, the U.S. intelligence community and anyone paying attention concluding that the nation was indeed working to get him elected.

Though the idea that Trump has finally acknowledged that Russia interfered in the 2016 election on his behalf is tantalizing, it’s more likely that he has no idea what he’s talking about. His rants against the Russia investigation have always been a garbled mishmash of claims and accusations with “Dems,” “Fake News Media,” “Witch Hunt,” “Presidential Harassment” and other incorrectly capitalized buzz terms thrown in like a game of Mad Libs. The odds that Trump suddenly decided to come clean and admit Russia helped him win are far longer than the odds he was mainlining cable news and in a fit of rage mistakenly regurgitated something he doesn’t even believe.

In fact, mere minutes after Trump wrote on Twitter that Russia helped him get elected, he claimed the opposite while speaking with reporters. “No, Russia did not help me get elected,” he said while pacing in front of the media on the White House lawn. “You know who got me elected? You know who got me elected? I got me elected. Russia did not help me at all. Russia, if anything, helped the other side.”

Though Trump’s wires may be crossed when it comes to Russian interference in the election, Mueller wasn’t so confused on Wednesday when he delivered his statement on the investigation, which found conclusively that Russia meddled with the intention of installing Trump in the White House. “There were multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election,” the now-former special counsel concluded. “That allegation deserves the attention of every American.”

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