Intel chief wishes Trump made a different statement on Russia meddling
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The United States’ top intelligence officer said on Thursday that he was just doing his job when he released a statement contradicting the president’s comments on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“It was important to take that stand on behalf of the intelligence community,” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on Thursday afternoon, adding, “I believed I needed to correct the record.”
“I was just doing my job,” Coats added.
Speaking alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, President Donald Trump suggested that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election, despite the intelligence community’s unanimous assessment to the contrary.
In a paper statement released on Monday after the president’s remarks in Helsinki, Coats said the intelligence community has “been clear in [its] assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.”
Trump later reiterated his support for the intelligence community on Twitter, while adding that diplomacy between Russia and the U.S. must also be a priority.
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