>> And I think we have to be relentless in terms of calling out the Russians for what they've done.>> Spy Chief Dan Coats has been at odds with President Trump over the threat posed by Russia, and that could mean trouble for the country's Director of National Intelligence.
>> I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where Coats is currently the leading contestant in the ongoing game of who will be next out the door. Especially after Thursday when he was clearly caught off guard by the news that Trump had invited Putin to Washington. Coats was onstage in Aspen Colorado with NBC's Andrea Mitchell when he got the news, his reaction going viral.
That reaction made Trump advisors livid, according to the Washington Post. The paper quoting one aide saying that Coats had gone rogue. At the same event Coats said he would have advised against Trump meeting privately with Putin in Helsinki if he had been asked.
>> It is what it is.>> Acknowledging four days after the summit that he still did not know what had been said in the room. Musing that Putin might have recorded the conversation.>> That risk is always there.>> Those comments doing nothing to quiet the bipartisan storm over Trump's performance in Helsinki as he seemed to accept Putin's denials of election interference over the word of his own intelligence community.
>> President Putin, he just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why I would be.>> Trump later saying he misspoke.>> I said the word would instead of wouldn't.>> But a day after that suggesting that Russia was no longer targeting the United States.
>> Thank you very much, no.>> Prompting another mop up by the White House. By contrast, Coats has been consistent saying, before the summit, quote, the warning lights were blinking red on Russian cyber attacks. And on Thursday, saying there's no question Moscow had been hacking the elections.>> But it's undeniable that the Russians are taking the lead on this.
They are the ones that are trying to wreck havoc over our election process.>> Cots is doing little to conceal his differences with the President, and that's why many in Washington suspect he could soon be out of a job. The latest in a long string of departures from the White House.