Trump attempts damage control after tweeting — then deleting — admission that Russia helped him get elected
President Donald Trump rants in the White House Rose Garden (Screen cap).

Donald Trump on Thursday spoke with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House after the president appeared to admit that the Russian government helped him get elected in 2016.

In a Twitter thread this morning, Trump claimed to have “nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected,” which appears to be the first time the president has even acknowledged that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was aimed at elevating him to the White House over his rival, Hillary Clinton. Trump has previously told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Russia would have preferred the former secretary of state win over him.

In a gaggle with reporters shortly after deleting the tweet, Trump railed against impeachment and special counsel Robert Mueller, who he called “a true never Trumper.” He also tried to backtrack on his tweet about Russia.

The president also seemed to confirm Wednesday’s report from the Wall Street Journal which described efforts to hide the USS John S. McCain during his visit to Japan. Trump called the plan “well-meaning.”