"I don't know what happened in that meeting", he said of Trump's one-on-one meeting Monday, before the press conference, with Putin.
'Say that again? Did I hear you?' he said upon learning the news, which White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Twitter.
In the same hour in which Coats declared Russian Federation to be the most aggressive state actor attempting to interfere in US affairs, emphasizing the need to be "ever-vigilant" and "relentless", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that Mr. Trump has asked national security adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to the White House this fall.
He laughed and said: "That's going to be special".
It's just the latest surprise to come out of Trump's Helsinki presser with Putin.
While Trump has sought to walk back his remarks since returning to Washington, he has continued to face intense backlash from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he asked two Senate panels to recommend additional action aimed at preventing future Russian election meddling and hold hearings on an existing Russia sanctions law.
"My thoughts there were that I believed I needed to correct the record for that, and that this is the job I signed up for, and that was my responsibility", Coats replied.
Trump has flip-flopped repeatedly over what exactly he said to Putin at the summit earlier this week, and whether he believes that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election. In that statement, Coats restated the USA intelligence assessment about Russian meddling and Moscow's "ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy".
"Russia lost 50 million people and helped us win the war", Trump said.
By Tuesday, after congressional blowback and criticism from outside advisors, Trump reversed himself and said he meant to say that he didn't see any reason why Russian Federation wouldn't - as opposed to would - intervene in the elections.
You know you're not in Kansas anymore when a US President is willing to consider allowing Russian Federation to interrogate a former American ambassador about fabricated crimes.
Norm Eisen, head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and former Obama ethics czar, said: "Friends, if this happens, lets plan the mother of all marches in DC - to peacefully demonstrate against Trump doing to the United States what his BFF Putin did to Russian Federation". Trump has been scrambling to undo the damage from his comments on Monday in which he gave credence to Putin's denials over the conclusions of American intelligence services.
On Thursday, the White House said Trump "disagrees" with Putin's offer to swap the questioning of 12 Russians accused of 2016 election interference for an interview with the former US ambassador. She said the USA hopes Putin will have the indicted Russians "come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt".
"We're doing very well, probably as well as anybody has ever done with Russian Federation".
McFaul, who served as ambassador to Russian Federation under former President Barack Obama from 2012 to 2014, expressed his gratitude after the vote.