DNI Dan Coats Calls Out Trump's Russia Comments At Aspen Security Forum

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin merge in Time's latest cover image

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was caught off guard on Thursday when NBC's Andrea Mitchell broke the news that Donald Trump has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington, D.C. for a follow-up meeting. "Well, you're right, I don't know what happened at that meeting", Coats said in response to a question at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

What reaction is there to the planned Putin visit?

The press conference in Helsinki was one of the "most disgraceful performances" by an American president in memory, Republican Senator John McCain had said. Putin also had an interpreter at the meeting.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer immediately criticized the planned invitation.

"That's not going to happen", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CBN News on Thursday.

Donald Trump has turned down Vladimir Putin's proposal to allow Russian investigators interview Americans suspected of crimes, but still expects 12 Russians blamed of election meddling to arrive in the U.S., the White House said.

"We will see how things develop further", the strongman added in his first comments about the summit, expressing worries about unnamed U.S. "forces" trying to prevent better ties and "putting narrow party interests above the national interest".

That offer was to allow the U.S. to question 12 Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, in exchange for Russia being allowed to interview Americans they had accused of unspecified crimes. "In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word "would" instead of "wouldn't", a back-pedaling Trump told reporters. She said the US hopes Putin will have the indicted Russians "come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt".

"In Helsinki, @POTUS agreed to ongoing working level dialogue between the two security council staffs", Sanders said in a tweet as Coats was speaking.

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at their controversial joint press conference after their
Trump's 'no' about Russian interference requires more clarification

On Monday, Trump sent shockwaves through the USA when during a joint press conference with Putin he brushed aside the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 United States presidential election. Putin has denied any such meddling.

In his first comments about the summit, Putin insisted that Russian Federation remains "open to contacts with the U.S". "He needs to be contained, not engaged", Browder said. Standing alongside Putin, Trump called the idea "an incredible offer".

Amid the backlash, the president later said he misspoke when he cited Putin's "extremely strong and powerful" denial of Russian meddling - despite the conclusions by United States intelligence services.

"We see that there are forces in the U.S. that are easily ready to sacrifice Russian-American relations for their own ambitions", Putin said in a speech to Russian ambassadors gathered in Moscow.

Putin did not name names, but spoke of USA politicians who put their "narrow party interests" above the best interests of the United States and were powerful enough to be able to foist their questionable "stories" on millions of Americans.

The resolution comes on the heels of growing concerns over the White House's initial willingness to agree to Putin's proposal.

The White House hasn't commented yet on the allegation but in a series of tweets in the hours after publication, Trump once again slammed the news media over the Russian Federation summit as the "enemy of the people".

Trump has since sought to clean up his comments, saying he "accepts" the USA intelligence findings ― though he's also walked back that stance.

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