FOX 32 NEWS - After clarifying that he did not intend to side with Vladimir Putin against American intelligence agencies, President Donald Trump now offers a new version of what he told the Russian strongman in their private meeting Monday. He says he warned Putin not to interfere again in U.S. elections.
“[I was] very strong on the fact that we can't have meddling, we can't have any of that. Now, look, we're also living in a grownup world but 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 said.
But the president did appear to reject his National Intelligence Director, former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, warning that alarm lights are "blinking red,” because Putin's regime is, in fact, continuing to mount cyber-attacks.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that exchange was not what it seemed to be.
“I talked to the president,” Sanders said. “He wasn't answering that question. He was saying, ‘no,’ he's not taking questions.”
Congressional Democrats think they've found a political opening,
"He's walking back the walk-back," Sen. Chuck Schumer said. "It's clear that he still believes President Putin over the consensus of American intelligence community and that puts Americans' security gravely at risk."
As the president's story has changed about what happened in his Monday meeting with Putin, the one constant is that he still declines to blame Putin personally for that 2016 election interference or for what American intelligence officials say are ongoing efforts to interfere in the 2018 in November.