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CNBC keeps track of President Donald Trump's most outrageous, newsmaking and world-changing statements each week — so you don't have to. Here's what the president said this week:
On Monday, Trump refused to support U.S. intelligence agencies in a press conference with President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Helsinki, Finland. The president said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be" Russia that meddled in the 2016 presidential elections. The comments provoked outrage from both sides of the political spectrum. Russia’s interference in the election is well supported by evidence from the U.S. intelligence community.
A day after critics denounced Trump’s statements in Helsinki, Trump said he misspoke at the press conference. He said that he meant to say “wouldn’t” instead of “would." Even after he said he accepted the U.S. intelligence community findings that Russia interfered in U.S. elections, he added that there “could have been other people also."
On Wednesday, Trump replied “no” to a question from a reporter about whether he thought Russia was still targeting the U.S. The response appeared to confirm some suspicions that Trump does not view Russia as a serious threat. Later in the day, Sarah Huckabee Sanders clarified Trump’s statements by saying, “The president … was saying ‘no’ to answering questions.” However, the president continued to talk about Russia after the question. He added, “There’s been no president ever as tough as I have been on Russia.” According to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, the U.S. needs to prepare for Russian interference in the 2018 election.
In an exclusive interview with CNBC taped on Thursday, Trump responded to attacks that he should have been tougher on Russia in Helsinki. He said that he wanted “to make a deal,” referencing his business background and best-seller "The Art of the Deal." He then redirected criticisms against him and called former President Barack Obama a “patsy” for Russia.
In the same interview, Trump commented on the Fed’s interest rate policies, breaking with years of precedent. The president said that he does not agree with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s decision to increase interest rates. “I’m not thrilled,” he told CNBC’s Joe Kernen. Trump acknowledged the Fed’s independence, saying, “I’m letting them do what they feel is best.”