This photograph of Trump's notes during his Russia backtrack reveals something worrying

Mimi Launder
Wednesday 18 July 2018 10:00
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Picture:(NICHOLAS KAMM / Contributor)

We all need little reminders in day-to-day life: 'buy milk', 'dentist appointment', 'there was no collusion with Russia'.

Donald Trump held a brief press conference this week to assure everyone we needn't worry about whether there was collusion with Russia, where a handwritten note reminding him 'there was no collusion' was embarrassingly caught on camera.

Even more ominously, he appeared to cross out "anyone involved in the meddling to justice" - taking the press conference into peak Thick of It territory.

Predictably, the internet had a field day - a hauntingly sad, terrified and baffled field day.


Oh, and Trump spelt collusion wrong in his notes.

But, quite frankly, we don't have time for that now: the US president just appeared to use a lame excuse to get out of widely condemned, dangerous behaviour.

This comes after Trump backed Russian denials over interference with the US election, saying he could think of "no reason" Russia would be involved with the meddling at a joint press conference with Vladmir Putin at a summit in Helsinki .

His comments - which are at odds with the general consensus among US intelligence agencies - faced fierce bipartisan criticism, with critics calling them "treasonous", "disgusting" and a "disgrace" - and those insults are just for starters.

At the presser where his notes were caught on camera, he also backpedalled on the idea that he doubted Russian election meddling, claiming he meant to say he saw no reason why it “wouldn’t be” Russia that interfered.

Ah, the good old 'double negative' excuse, a last resort for teenagers everywhere.

Leaving things murkier than ever, the president added that he hoped that cleared everything up:

It should have been obvious.

So you can put that in and I think that probably clarifies things.

Here's what he actually said in the conference, backtracking on his earlier comments:

I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. Could be other people also. 

There's a lot of people out there. 

There was no collusion at all, and people have seen that, and they've seen it strongly.

This is a bit like you saying 'I see no reason to think Donald Trump is a liar unfit to be president', and then - if anyone calls you out on it - correcting it to 'I see no reason to not think Donald Trump is a liar unfit to be president'.

Easily done, though this does mean we should doubt every sweeping, headline-hitting political statement ever made. Does Brexit actually not mean Brexit? Is a week actually a really short time in politics? Oh god, and maybe Nixon meant he is not not a crook and we got Watergate completely wrong?

This is not the first time Trump notes have been caught on camera.

During a listening session on gun violence in schools, Trump was pictured holding notes that basically doubled up as instructions on how to empathise.

More: Obama's photographer shows Trump exactly 'how to deal with Putin'

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