Trump felt pressure to walk back the controversial remarks from his press conference with Vladimir Putin, White House insiders say.

Donald Trump believed Russian President Vladimir Putin when he said that Russia did not meddle in the 2016 presidential election and only backtracked when his own backers — especially Fox News — criticized the controversial statement, a new report indicates.

On Tuesday, Trump offered a retraction of the statement made during a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin that he believed the Russian President’s denial that his country interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The statement went against the overwhelming consensus of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia had interfered with the goal of helping Trump to be elected. As The Daily Beast reported, the comments left Trump’s inner circle scrambling to convince the president to walk back the statements.

As the report noted, those insiders said Trump was “truthful” in his initial statements, noting that he truly did believe Vladimir Putin over the opinion of U.S. intelligence agencies. The report noted that Trump became “visibly annoyed” as he watched television and saw the near-universal opposition to his statements, with even longtime backers calling the president weak.

The kicker was the criticism from Fox News personalities like Laura Ingraham, the report noted. She blasted Donald Trump for referring to Vladimir Putin as “strong and powerful” in his denial of election meddling. The coverage led an irked Trump to blast the “Fake News” for not reporting what he thought was a strong meeting with Putin.

Even after he was finally convinced to make a public retraction of the statement that he believed Vladimir Putin, Trump had a difficult time staying on message, the Daily Beast noted.

“As is typical with this president, he still could not help himself from ad-libbing and going off-message by walking back key parts of his West Wing’s stage-managed walk-back.

“Trump spoke from the White House Cabinet room, reading from prepared remarks that included a handwritten—and misspelled—note in the margins: ‘THERE WAS NO COLUSION.’ “

Trump’s retraction did not go over much better. Many critics noted that Trump’s explanation appeared flimsy, explaining that he meant to say “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be” Russia behind the election meddling rather than his stated line “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Critics noted that Trump appeared to side with Putin many other times during the press conference outside of that single line, and Think Progress noted that Trump failed to correct himself in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson that was recorded before his retraction press conference on Tuesday.

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