Among the most important moments in the Trump-Putin press conference in Helsinki this week was the Russian president's concession that he wasn't neutral in the 2016 American election: Vladimir Putin acknowledged that he wanted Donald Trump to win.
Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asked, "President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?" There was an audio issue at the time, it's not clear that the Russian leader heard the second part of the question. That said, he replied, "Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal."
In context, Putin seemed to be responding directly to the first part of the question, about his political preference.
But Uri Friedman had an interesting piece in The Atlantic yesterday, noting that the official White House transcript presented the exchange in a way that paints a misleading picture.
[I]f you watch the White House live-stream of the press conference or look at the transcript published by the White House, the first half of Mason's question is not there. Without it, the meaning of the exchange is substantially different. [...]
The discrepancies in the accounts of what was said also underscore the extent to which the Trump presidency has challenged a common understanding of reality. Even if the omission was accidental, it appears suspicious at a moment marked by the president's repeated claims that legitimate news reports are "fake."
To appreciate the nuances to this, take a look at the full piece in The Atlantic, which goes into detail. The way the White House transcript reads, when Putin said, "Yes, I did," he seemed to be adding thoughts to an answer from moments earlier about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. But he wasn't -- the Russian president's answer was about him favoring Trump in the 2016 race.
In fairness, there may have been some technical difficulties that affected the transcription. The trouble is, the Trump White House has had some notable troubles in this area before, which makes it more difficult to give the president's team the benefit of the doubt.