Trump says he holds Putin personally responsible for election meddling

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' MORE says in a new interview that he holds Russian President Vladimir Putin personally responsible for Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, despite his refusal to condemn Putin publicly during a joint press conference earlier in the week.

Trump told CBS News's Jeff Glor on Wednesday that he believes Putin is responsible "because he’s in charge of the country."

"Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country," Trump said.


"I let him know we can’t have this, we’re not going to have it, and that’s the way it’s going to be," Trump added.

However, he expressed doubts that a firm statement would have much effect, adding that "we’re also living in a grown-up world."

Trump demurred when asked if he believes Putin is lying when he denies Russian interference, as he did earlier this week.

“I don’t want to get into whether or not he’s lying,” Trump said. “I can only say I do have confidence in our intelligence agencies as currently constituted.”

Trump has offered competing answers on multiple occasions in the last 48 hours about his views on Russia's election interference.

The president sparked bipartisan backlash on Monday for his reluctance to condemn Russian meddling in the 2016 election during a summit in Helsinki.

During his joint press conference with Putin, Trump appeared to side with the Russian leader's denial over the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community, saying Putin was “very strong” in his denials.

Republicans, Democrats and some of the president's staunchest allies largely panned Trump's performance at the press conference with Putin.

Trump attempted to walk back some of his remarks on Tuesday, stating he has confidence in the U.S. intelligence community's assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. He seemed to hedge, however, adding that it “could be other people also.”

The president went on to claim that much of the fuss about his comments was a result of him misspeaking during the press conference. He claimed he mistakenly said he saw no reason it “would” be Russia that meddled, when he meant to say he saw no reason it “wouldn’t” be Russia.

Then during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Trump declared that no president had been tougher on Russia than him while simultaneously claiming Russia no longer posed a threat to the U.S.

That assertion came days after his own director of national intelligence warned that Russia is mounting an “ongoing” and “pervasive” effort to meddle in U.S. elections.

The White House later attempted to clarify Trump's remarks, explaining that he was saying "no" to additional questions, not to whether Russia still posed a threat.

Trump has often blamed the Obama administration for, among other things, not taking stronger action to stop Russian meddling during the 2016 election.

Despite the blowback, the president has since touted the results of his meeting with Putin, calling it a "success" and the start of a dialogue.