'Donald Trump last night said he misspoke when he failed to blame Russia for interfering in the US election in 2016 during a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
Mr Trump said he had been surprised by the firestorm of criticism that followed his remarks, and that confusion had been caused by one misplaced word.
It was his second recent remarkable about turn following an apology to Theresa May in the wake of a newspaper interview in which he criticised her handling of Brexit.
At the Helsinki press conference Mr Trump said "I don’t see any reason why it would be" Russia that meddled in the US election, despite all his own intelligence agencies having concluded that it was.
On Tuesday, Mr Trump made a statement at the White House that he had meant to say the opposite.
The president said he wanted to "clarify a key sentence" he spoke in Helsinki. He said that sentence should have been "I don't see any reason it wouldn't be" Russia. He called the sentence he meant to say a "bit of a double negative".
Mr Trump added: "I used the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't'. I think that probably clarifies things pretty much by itself."
The president said he thought the summit had gone well and was initially confused by the angry reaction, asking himself "What's the big deal?"
He then looked at a transcript of his answers and realised he had misspoken, he said.'
Read more: Russia did interfere in US election, says Trump, as he admits 'misspeaking' at Putin press conference
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