White House says nothing 'malicious' in transcript omission

Published 07-25-2018

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says the omission of a key question from the initial version of the official transcript of President Donald Trump's news conference with Vladimir Putin "was by no means malicious."

The White House says its stenographer uses White House audio to produce transcripts. But the White House says the audio equipment in the room at the Helsinki summit didn't raise the microphone level in time to catch the beginning of a reporter's two-part question to Putin because the translator was still speaking.

But MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is standing by her report that the White House deliberately the question from the transcript. The Washington Post and The Atlantic have questioned Maddow's report Tuesday night, and they're saying it's unclear whether material was deliberately left out.

The White House says the omission "was by no means deliberate" and that the transcript has been updated for presidential records.

Maddow says in a series of new tweets that nothing from the Post "disproves our report."

Maddow also notes that the transcript on the White House website for the summit news conference in Helsinki hasn't been updated to restore the question to Putin from Reuters reporter Jeff Mason: "Did you want President Trump to win the election?"

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