Just learned on Maddow that the White House deleted the reporter's question to Putin whether he wanted Trump to win from the Helsinki press conf transcript AND video. Falsifying official tapes is abuse of power! This is NOT what democracy looks like!!#LiarInChief #TrumpColluded pic.twitter.com/CnELpXVvA2— Ric Alesch (@ralesch) July 25, 2018
UPDATE: On Thursday, the transcript of President Donald Trump’s press conference with Russia President Vladimir Putin was finally corrected by the White House.
A question that had been omitted previously because of a technical issue has now been added to the official transcript, making it clear that Putin admitted to supporting Trump during the elections.
Now that the question “President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election?” has been added, we understand Putin’s response.
"Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal," he said.
The Trump White House suffered a great deal of backlash for waiting 10 days to have the issue addressed, but according to The Hill, White House stenographers are career officials and weren’t appointed by the administration. So, perhaps, it wouldn’t make sense for them to keep this line out of the official records in order to protect their boss.
The White House is under fire for omitting a section of the transcript of the news conference held by President Donald Trump alongside Russia President Vladimir Putin. According to some news outlets, the omission was not accidental.
During the news conference, a Reuters reporter asked, “President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election?” followed by “And did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?”
But the official White House transcript only lists the second part of the question.
During her show on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow accused the president’s White House of “disappearing” with evidence by not including the question. She added that the government was "essentially following the Kremlin's playbook."
The president disappearing evidence that's laying there in plain sight, pretending that up is down and black is white, this is garbage time again.— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) July 25, 2018
It is a form of information warfare and it is being waged against us. pic.twitter.com/45739KPwVh
Still, the White House claimed it wasn’t on purpose.
"This was by no means malicious," a White House official said.
Instead, the audio mixer being used at the time failed to bring up the audio levels of the reporter’s microphone in time, and the beginning of the question was cut off.
This explanation was corroborated by The Washington Post, whose own transcript also omitted the first part of the question.
“We did not edit the question out,” the Post explained. “This is the feed we were provided.”
While the first part of the question wasn’t in the original White House transcript, Putin’s answer was. And now that we know what the reporter asked, it’s clear that Putin’s answer was “Yes.”
"Yes, I did. Yes, I did," Putin said. "Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal."
Despite the backlash, the White House took over a week to update the transcript for presidential records.
What would the White House gain by waiting so long to have this problem resolved, considering so many outlets had already reported about the missing question in the official transcript? It’s hard to say. But it's not a surprise, considering this administration has a long track record of misrepresenting facts.