Fascinating details in reports about Trump’s Russian retraction

We’re all still reeling from Trump’s statement yesterday that he “didn’t see any reason why it would be” true that Russia had meddled with the US election. Standing there next to Putin, he publicly rejected the positions of multiple US intelligence authorities.

Today, in the face of blistering criticism from foes and friends alike, including powerful members of his own Republican party, the president backtracked, saying that he misspoke – that he really meant to say “why it wouldn’t be,” and stating that he accepts US intelligence claims that the Russians interfered with the US election — a claim which is not consistent with multiple statements he made.

I’m blogging about this in part because I want to process it, and I want to document this, so that this sort of thing doesn’t become normalized.

I’m also posting this because I was intrigued by these details from the coverage on Business Insider: Trump read from a typed script to claim he misspoke in his press conference with Putin, with a handwritten note: ‘THERE WAS NO COLUSION’

Handwritten, all-caps note on printed script from which Trump read: "THERE WAS NO COLUSION"

What does it mean, that a man famous for giving off-the cuff speeches suddenly would suddenly appear a day after a more-shocking-than-usual statement, reciting a scripted 180-degree reversal?

This reminds me of the unlabeled folders of apparently blank documents that Trump claimed were evidence of the “documents” he had signed turning over his business holdings to his children. For an administration that is so keen on controlling the narrative and projecting a certain image, it’s amazing how unstable that image appears.

It would be hard to create a kiddie show supervillain with more obvious weaknesses.

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