The White House is in discord Thursday night after President Donald Trump’s decision to invite Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to Washington was mocked by one of his senior aides, reports the Washington Post.
The decision to follow-up on Trump’s much-criticized Helsinki summit by inviting the dictator who installed Trump as president through election meddling with an invitation to visit the U.S. was apparently shocking to Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, who was told about it on stage at a conference.
“Okaaaay,” Coats said when told. “That’s going to be special.”
The Post reports that “inside the White House, Trump’s advisers were in an uproar over Coats’s interview” and that “the optics were especially damaging.”
“Coats appeared to be laughing at the president, playing to his audience of the intellectual elite in a manner that was sure to infuriate Trump,” the report said.
Others in the White House were worried that Coats would resign in protest over the Putin meeting and that Trump had praised him to keep that from happening.
“Coats has gone rogue,” said a senior White House official.