In his statement on Saturday, Coats said, “some press coverage has mischaracterized my intentions in responding to breaking news presented to me during a live interview. My admittedly awkward response was in no way meant to be disrespectful or criticize the actions of the President.”
Coats went on to say, “I and the entire intel community are committed to providing the best possible intelligence to inform and support President Trump’s ongoing efforts to prevent Russian meddling in our upcoming elections, to build strong relationships internationally in order to maintain peace, denuclearize dangerous regimes and protect our nation and our allies.”
In the same interview on Thursday, Coats publicly broke with Trump over his decision to meet privately with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, saying, “if he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way.”
Trump and Coats appeared to be at odds in the aftermath of the President’s meeting with Putin at the beginning of the week.
During the same interview, Coats said that he intends to remain in his current role as long as he has “the ability to seek the truth and speak the truth.”