In an extraordinary admission of events, Trump admitted for the first time on Thursday morning that the Russian interference in the 2016 election helped him win the presidency, reports the New York Times.
During one of Trump’s infamous Twitter storms, Trump tweeted that he “had nothing to do with Russia helping [him] to get elected.”
Trump then quickly backtracked as he spoke outside of the White House less than an hour after the tweet, saying:
“No, Russia did not help me get elected. I got me elected.”
The original admission in Trump’s tweet is the first instance of Trump admitting that his 2016 win was aided at all by Russia’s election interference. U.S. intelligence agencies and federal prosecutors have already come to the conclusion that Russia attempted to sway U.S. voters in 2016.
Trump continues to argue that the “Russia hoax” is a false claim from Democrats who are bitter over their White House loss.
President Trump’s back-and-forth statements come one day after special counsel Robert S. Mueller III spoke publicly for the first time about the findings of his investigation.