President Trump met with Vladmir Putin informally at the Asia-Pacific Summit on Saturday. He emerged from the meeting reiterating that Putin denied allegations that he had intermeddled with the 2016 presidential election, and claiming that he believed the Russian President. After a strong reaction from the intelligence community, Trump backpedaled his statement, claiming he sides with “our agencies.”
Though Trump now claims to side with the intelligence community, he has done so only through an ambiguous statement of loyalty. It is an especially fledging remark in light of his long defense of Putin, and his attempts to quash the Russian interference story. The President has even gone so far as to direct CIA Director Mike Pompeo to meet with William Binney, a former member of the intelligence community who believes the Democratic National Convention email scandal was an inside job. So, one must wonder what Trump means when he claims to “be with our agencies,” and whether he believes he can be with Putin simultaneously.