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Priebus says Trump 'absolutely did not believe' Putin's election meddling denial

Reince Priebus on Fox

"The president absolutely did not believe the denial of President Putin" about Russian interference in the 2016 election, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said in an interview on Fox News Sunday.

Trump "went after that issue at least two separate times" while speaking with Putin on Friday, Priebus continued, "and after going after it with President Putin more than once — two times, maybe even three times — the president at that point, after spending a large portion of the meeting on the subject, moved on to other topics." A Saturday New York Times report said Trump grilled Putin on the election issue for a tense and sometimes heated 40 minutes of a two-hour conversation.

Priebus' account directly contradicts Putin's Saturday statement that Trump seemed "satisfied" with his denial. When Trump tweeted about the meeting Sunday morning, he did not directly address whether he believed Putin, though he did recount "strongly press[ing] President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election" before arguing "it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia" by "forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit" with Moscow to prevent election hacking.

Watch an excerpt of Priebus' comments below. Bonnie Kristian