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Dan Coats: ‘Not in a position’ to fully understand Trump-Putin summit

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Dan Coats
Director
of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Thursday said he still
didn’t have full details regarding what President Donald Trump
spoke about with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a
private meeting in Helsinki, Finland, in July.

Carlos Barria/Reuters

  • Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said he’s
    “not in a position to understand fully” what occurred during
    President Donald Trump’s private meeting with Russian President
    Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. 
  • Trump’s meeting with Putin lasted roughly two
    hours.
  • The only other American in the room was the president’s
    translator,
    Marina Gross
  • Since the summit, there have been broad concerns the
    president made agreements with Putin
    that have not been properly explained to key US
    officials

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Thursday said he’s
“not in a position to understand fully” what occurred during
President Donald Trump’s controversial private meeting with
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, last
month. 

“I’m not in a position to either understand fully or talk about
what happened in Helsinki,” Coats said when questioned about the
meeting, which occurred a little more than two weeks ago.

Trump’s meeting with Putin lasted roughly two hours. The only
other American in the room was the president’s translator,

Marina Gross

Since the summit, there have been broad concerns the president
made agreements with Putin
that have not been properly explained to key US
officials

Coats on Thursday was joined by other senior intelligence
officials at the White House as they discussed the subject of
Russian election interference and warned the Kremlin still poses
a major threat toward the US electoral system. 

“The president has specifically directed us to make the
matter of election meddling and securing our election process a
top priority,” Coats said.

Trump’s rhetoric on Russian election interference has often
contradicted statements and conclusions from the US intelligence
community, including during his meeting with Putin last
month. 

The president recently claimed
Russia will attempt to aid Democrats
in the 2018 midterms,
providing no evidence to support the assertion.

Coats on Thursday declined to answer whether Russia favors
one party over another regarding its efforts to meddle in this
year’s elections. 

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