Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race Cyber preparedness could save America's 'unsinkable aircraft carrier' MORE says has not discussed with President Trump the commander in chief's reported disclosure of highly classified information with top Russian officials.
The incident reportedly occurred over a week ago during a meeting among Trump, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“I wasn’t in the room, and I don’t know what the president shared,” Coats said at a Senate hearing Tuesday, adding, “I have not discussed this issue with the president.”
Trump is said to have shared classified intelligence information about an ISIS plot that was initially provided by Israel during a meeting with the Russian officials in the Oval Office. The White House has denied that anything inappropriate occurred, saying that Trump had the right to share the information with the Russians.
“I find that troubling,” Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichGOP lawmakers introduce measure in support of Columbus Day Overnight Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Schneider Electric — Deadly Ida floodwaters grip southeast US David Sirota: Seven Democrats who voted against fracking ban trying to secure future elections MORE (D-N.M.) said Tuesday.
Coats explained that he had been traveling, so he wasn't sure what was said in his absence.
“I was in Europe, and he was in the White House,” Coats said.
On Monday, Trump said that he never mentioned the word “Israel” in his conversations with the Russians, something that was never alleged.
“I never mentioned the word or the name Israel. Never mentioned it during our conversation,” Trump told journalists ahead of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first trip abroad.
Coats was pressed Tuesday on what procedures the U.S. has in place to decide what information can be shared with foreign governments — and whether those procedures were followed.
Coats acknowledged that such “procedures and processes” exist, but provided no details on them. He also said he was unaware of the procedures being followed in Trump’s sharing of information with the Russians.
“I have no awareness of that,” Coats said when asked by Heinrich whether Trump underwent the clearance process before his meeting with the Russians. “I am not aware of it.”
Later, Coats was asked by Sen. Angus KingAngus KingSenate appears poised to advance first Native American to lead National Park Service Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act GOP tries to take filibuster pressure off Manchin, Sinema MORE (I-Me.) if the intelligence community has initiated an assessment into the "significance and impact" of the information revealed to the Russian officials. Coats said it has not.
“We have not initiated an assessment of that," Coats said. "It is to my understanding that we have not initiated that.”
Coats also said that the issue was not raised by any allies he visited during his recent trip to Europe.