Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’ visible shock when he found out about President Donald Trump’s inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House mid-televised interview is just the latest hint of the rising tension between the two men.
According to a Thursday Washington Post report, White House aides were so concerned that Coats would quit after he made comments signaling his disapproval of Trump Helsinki’s performance that they told Trump to praise Coats specifically during his CBS interview. A transcript was sent to Coats afterwards to make sure he didn’t miss the President’s comments.
Staffers were in an uproar again on Thursday, when Coats said that he would have advised against the Putin-Trump one on one at the Aspen Security Forum and said “that’s going to be special,” in reaction to Trump’s inviting Putin to Washington.
Some think that the President will perceive the comments as Coats making fun of him, and will feel betrayed that Coats mocked him so soon after he publicly praised him.
“Coats has gone rogue,” a senior White House official told the Post.