Politics

Coats Wishes Trump Hadn’t Appeared to Side with Putin

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) was quick to respond to the president but appreciated his clarification

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats said Thursday that he wished President Donald Trump had not dismissed the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign following his Monday summit meeting with Vladimir Putin.

“I just felt like at this point in time that we what assessed, reassessed, and carefully gone over still stands and it was important to take that stand on behalf of the intelligence community and the American people,” Coats said during the Aspen Institute’s national security conference in Colorado. “As we have seen, the president has made statements, relative, in support of that, which I appreciate.”

Trump has been bashed endlessly and with unprecedented bitterness by Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media virtually around the clock since Monday, despite the chief executive’s clarification that  he did not intend to say he dismisses the findings but actually agrees with the intelligence community. Coats was quick to speak out against the statement, but now believes it is time to move on.

Related: Left-Wing Journo Calls Out ‘Reckless Lunacy’ Toward Trump

Coats was mentioned by name when the president referenced people who brought him the intelligence community findings. NBC News Host Andrea Mitchell pressed the issue, while asking about his initial response.

“Well my thoughts there was that I needed to correct the record,” Coats said. “This is the job that I signed up for, and that was my responsibility. Obviously, I wished that he had made a different statement. But I think that now that it has been clarified, based on his late reactions to this. So I don’t think I want to go any further than that.”

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Related: Trump’s Putin Presser Spurs Mainstream Media Meltdown

Coats first affirmed his confidence in the intelligence community’s findings July 16 in response to what the president said, adding that “we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence” to protect national security.

The White House has since worked to show how much the president has done to confront Russia, pointing to:

  • Increased efforts to improve U.S. cybersecurity
  • Worked to strengthen U.S. election infrastructures
  • Shut down two Russian diplomatic facilities used for spying activities in the U.S.
  • Kicked out of the U.S. 60 Russian diplomatic officials suspected of participating in spying activities
  • Imposed extremely severe economic sanctions against specific Russian entities and dozens of Russian oligarchs who are Putin allies
  • Bombed Syrian bases from which chemical attacks on Syrian civilians were launched and bombed a Syrian facility, killing an estimated 200 Russian mercenaries in the process
  • Pushed European nations, especially Germany, to buy more energy from the U.S. and less from Russia, whose economy depends extensively on income from such sales
  • Launched a massive modernization of U.S. military capabilities, including space-related programs
  • Pushed NATO countries to hike their defense spending to bolster their ability to repel a Russian invasion
  • Stationed U.S. forces in the Baltic states, creating a huge defensive problem for Russian military planners
  • Deployed U.S. anti-missile defenses in Poland to counter Russian intermediate-range weapons, a decision former President Barack Obama refused to make.

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