“Some press coverage has mis-characterized my intentions in responding to breaking news presented to me during a live interview. My admittedly awkward response was in no way meant to be disrespectful or criticize the actions of the president," Daniel Coats was quoted as saying by Reuters.
"I and the entire intel(ligence) community are committed to providing the best possible intelligence to inform and support President Trump’s ongoing efforts to prevent Russian meddling in our upcoming elections, to build strong relationships internationally in order to maintain peace, denuclearize dangerous regimes and protect our nation and our allies," US director of intelligence was quoted as saying by Reuters.
"Say that again. Did I hear you?" Daniel Coats said, appearing surprised. "OK, that's going to be special."
On Thursday, Dan Coats said during a panel discussion at the Aspen Security Forum that does not know what exactly happened during the private meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
Coats was one of the first US senior officials who spoke out in response to Trump's remarks in Helsinki about Russia's role in the 2016 US presidential election. The DNI noted he expressed his opinion because he felt the intelligence community assessment still stands.
"My thoughts were that I believed I needed to correct the record… That was my responsibility. Obviously, I wished he [Trump] would made a different statement," Coats said Thursday, adding that it is undeniable that Russia remains a leading country in trying to undermine US democracy.