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 said Thursday that it's possible Russian President Vladimir Putin recorded his meeting Monday in Helsinki, Finland, with President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE, adding that he didn't know the specifics of what happened during the two leaders' private meeting.
Asked by MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell whether Putin could have recorded the meeting without Trump's knowledge, Coats hesitated before responding: "That risk is always there."
"You're right, I don't know what happened in that meeting," Coats added during the interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival. "I think as time goes by — and the president has already mentioned some things that happened in that meeting — I think we will learn more. But that is the president's prerogative."
Director of Nat'l Intelligence Coats: "I don't know what happened in that meeting."@mitchellreports: "Is there a risk that Vladimir Putin could've recorded it?"— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 19, 2018
DNI Coats: "That risk is always there." pic.twitter.com/dReGGOXBut
Coats told Mitchell that the meeting of Putin and Trump alone with their translators was not a setup that he personally would have recommended, but added that it wasn't his job to advise the president on such matters.
"If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way, but that's not my role," Coats said. "So it is what it is."
Trump shocked many in Washington on Monday when he seemingly sided with Putin and Russia's explanation over his own intelligence agencies on the issue of Russian election interference in the 2016 U.S. election, before later walking back the statement claiming he misspoke.
Russia's ambassador to the U.S. said Wednesday that the two leaders also came to "important verbal agreements" on issues such as Syria and arms control during their meeting, but the White House and the State Department have not confirmed the report.
Later in Mitchell's interview with Coats, she broke the news to him that Trump is working to invite Putin to visit Washington, D.C., in the next few months.
“We have some breaking news, the White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall,” Mitchell said.
“Say that again?” Coats replied, before laughing.
“Did I hear you right?” he jokingly asked. “OK, that’s gonna be special.”