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DNI: I Meant No Disrespect to Trump

Dan Coats said his reaction to Putin invite was just 'awkward'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2018 7:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is softening his off-the-cuff reaction last week to news that President Trump had invited Vladimir Putin to the White House, saying he meant no harm. "Some press coverage has mischaracterized my intentions in responding to breaking news presented to me during a live interview," Coats said Saturday, per the AP. "My admittedly awkward response was in no way meant to be disrespectful or criticize the actions of the president." Coats' statement came more than 48 hours after the fact, amid speculation that Trump, infuriated by the DNI's comments and a week of back and forth over Russia, might fire him, reports the Washington Post. During the interview Thursday on live television, Coats appeared incredulous at the Putin invite before saying, "OK. That's going to be special." (Read more Dan Coats stories.)

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