The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir by John Bolton:
Worryingly, however, Putin also said he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election “because he talked about bringing the US-Russian relationship back to normal,” a significant deviation from the standard public line that countries don’t interfere in others’ internal politics and would work with whomever was elected. That in turn paled before the Trump response near the end of the press conference, when Trump said, “My people came to me—Dan Coats came to me and some others—they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server. But I have—I have confidence in both parties… So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.” Kelly and I, sitting next to each other in the audience, were almost frozen to our seats by Trump’s answer. It was obvious that major corrective action would be needed because of this self-inflicted wound, but what exactly that would be was far from evident. The immediate media coverage was catastrophic.
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