The press conference transcript reveal that Trump had two urgencies regarding the 2016 election. Some confusion arises when people read Trump’s answers in light of their own urgencies and not according to context and Trump’s own intention. To avoid this confusion, the presser transcript needs to be read in light of the two urgencies
Trump’s obvious first urgency is that there was no collusion—and despite a year-long furious, prejudiced and highly motivated, well-staffed and well-financed investigation, there remains no evidence of collusion. None of the Mueller indictments have anything to do with the Trump campaign.
When Trump says there was no collusion, he certainly is not disagreeing with US intelligence agencies. When Trump denies collusion, however, the Democrats and the news media (but I repeat myself) hear Trump defending Putin’s denial of interfering in the election. Yet these are two vastly different things. Trump’s denials of collusion in no way convey Russian innocence and contrary to the hysteria, he did not exonerate Russia of election meddling.
Did Russia attempt to influence the election? Trump says yes, emphatically. Did Russian election meddling impact the election? Trump says no, and does so without contradicting his intelligence agencies. Did Trump collude with Russia? Trump says no. These are perfectly reasonable assertions that open-minded people should respect.
Secondly, Trump reviles the Obama administration for its failure to deal with Russian interference. This is reflected in Trump’s focus on the hacked computer network server used by the Democratic National Committee which the FBI did not examine. Trump is right to focus on this since the primary accusation of interference arises from emails that were hacked from the DNC server, and subsequently published by WikiLeaks (which denies that Russia was ever its source). Quizzically, the Obama justice department relied on the word of cybersecurity company CrowdStrike in concluding that the Russians were the source of the hack. It is said that CrowdStrike was led by Clinton loyalists. The fiasco is the fount of all sorts of speculation, rightly so.
Trump noted that his own National Director of Intelligence Dan Coates (former Indiana Republican senator) told him that Russia hacked the server, and Trump added, “I don't see any reason why it [the hacking source] would be [Russia]” which Trump later amended to say, “I don't see any reason why it wouldn’t be.” Trump’s repeated emphasis on the need for the FBI to examine the server highlights that we really have no reason to think the Russians hacked it or didn’t hack it. Thus, both Trump’s original comment and his corrected comment are valid. At any rate, for good reason, there remains tremendous controversy over who hacked the DNC server.
The presser is short and easily digestible. I am no great political genius, but I am capable of reading transcripts, and my analysis is spot on. I find it incredible that so much bogus claims are being made of such straight forward statements and answers. I really think much of the hysteria arises from Trump Derangement Syndrome.