WASHINGTON (CBS NEWS/AP) — President Donald Trump wanted to make an important point. And then the lights went out.
Trump was saying Tuesday that he has “full faith” in the U.S. intelligence agencies in the aftermath of his Helsinki news conference when the lights in the White House Cabinet Room dimmed and briefly went out, leaving the room mostly in darkness.
“Whoops, they just turned off the lights. That must be the intelligence agencies,” the president joked to members of his Cabinet, lawmakers and the assembled media.
As the lights were quickly switched on, Trump asked if everyone was OK. “That was strange. But that’s OK,” he said, returning to his statement.
Trump was trying to make clear after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he fully supports the U.S intelligence community and its finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections.
His remarks came during a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and several members of Congress, including Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas. The president was discussing Republican tax legislation that’s expected to be considered in September.
Mr. Trump insisted on Tuesday that any actions Russia took had no impact on the presidential election and that there was no collusion between members of his campaign and Russians. He also emphasized the importance of diplomacy, said getting along with Russia is a good thing, and claimed his meeting with Putin was more successful than the NATO meeting in Brussels last week.
“As successful as NATO was, I think this was our most successful visit,” Mr. Trump said.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)