The Trump administration stunned (at best) many on Thursday when they announced the president had instructed his National Security Advisor John Bolton to extend an invitation for murderous kleptocrat du jour, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, to visit the White House this fall.
Not least of those apparently surprised by the information was Pres. Trump’s own Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, who was on stage at an event on national security with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
Watch Coats reaction to what seemingly looks to be his first hearing of the invitation.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats informed on stage at Aspen Security Forum that the Trump administration has invited Vladimir Putin to the White House.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 19, 2018
It’s truly flabbergasting to think the White House wouldn’t run such a thing by the national security director beforehand — even if it was simply to inform, not necessarily ask permission — but these are extraordinary times. That Coats had to ask Mitchell to repeat herself certainly makes it look like he hadn’t heard about the Putin invitation until then.
I think we can all agree with Coats sentiment in his response. “That’s going to be special,” he said simply.