On Monday, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins said during a panel discussion with CNN’s Jake Tapper that the White House is scrambling to defend President Donald Trump’s unprecedented statements about Valdimir Putin.
“White House officials don’t know how to defend this. Not a single person I have spoken to from the White House has been able to spin this, or frame this in a positive light for them,” she said. “They realize that the president stood there next to the Russian president and publicly challenged the U.S. intelligence in front of the entire world on the world stage, and gave Vladimir Putin all of this legitimacy even after he attacked our election.”
Collins said they were “speechless.”
“I talked to several officials today. They were speechless and dumbstruck. They truly didn’t know what to say. The aides that traveled with the president got on Air Force One, turned the phones off and are on their way back to Washington,” she said.
Collins continued: “They’re not fielding inquiries and left it to the people in D.C., to clean up the mess. The president is trying to do that on his own watching the coverage of this.
President Trump’s comments during the joint press conference with Putin came after he spent two hours with him in a close door meeting.
“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” President Trump said.
After the press conference, President Trump tweeted: “As I said today and many times before, “I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.” However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past — as the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!”