In this image from video provided by the Aspen Security Forum, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats speaks at the Forum in Aspen, Colo., on Thursday, July 19, 2018. Coats says his Thursday comments at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado were not intended to be critical of the president’s handling of the summit. (Aspen Security Forum via AP)

Top intel official says he meant no disrespect to Trump

July 21, 2018 - 5:01 pm

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — The top U.S. intelligence official is saying he meant no disrespect to President Donald Trump in a televised interview discussing the summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats says his Thursday comments at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado were not intended to be critical of the president's handling of the summit.

Coats has been under scrutiny since he said he wished Trump had not met one-on-one with the Russian leader, expressed dismay that the president had publicly undermined U.S. intelligence agencies, and appeared surprised by the revelation that Trump invited Putin to a meeting in Washington later this year.

Says Coats: "My admittedly awkward response was in no way meant to be disrespectful or criticize the actions of the president."

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