Former director of national intelligence Dan Coats could not shake his "deep suspicions" that Russian President Vladimir Putin "had something" on President Trump.
director of national intelligence Dan Coats could not shake his "deep
suspicions" that Russian President Vladimir Putin "had something" on
President Trump, seeing "no other explanation" for the president's
behavior, according to Bob Woodward's new book "Rage," which was obtained ahead of its publication next week by CNN
Why it matters: Coats
was the president's top intelligence official from March 2017 until
August 2019. Woodward reports that Coats and his staff examined the
intelligence regarding Trump's ties to Russia "as carefully as possible"
and that he "still questions the relationship" between Trump and Putin
despite the apparent absence of intelligence proof.
Between the lines: The New York Times' Michael Schmidt reported
in his new book that former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
secretly curtailed an FBI counterintelligence probe into Trump's ties to
Russia, meaning the full scope of decades of the president's personal
and financial dealings there has never been explored.
The big picture: The
explosive Woodward book, which is based in part on 18 interviews that
Trump sat for with the veteran journalist, details the "tortured" tenure
of Coats and other officials described by the Washington Post
as "so-called adults of the Trump orbit" — including former Defense
Secretary James Mattis and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
one point, Mattis went to Washington National Cathedral to pray for the
country's fate under Trump's leadership, according to the Post's report
on Woodward's book. He reportedly told Coats, "There may come a time
when we have to take collective action" to speak out against Trump
because he is "dangerous. He’s unfit."
- In a later conversation
reported by Woodward, Mattis told Coats, "The president has no moral
compass." Coats reportedly responded, “True. To him, a lie is not a lie.
It’s just what he thinks. He doesn’t know the difference between the
truth and a lie."
The other side: "The Bob Woodward book will be a FAKE, as always, just as many of the others have been," Trump tweeted on Aug. 14, before the book had come out. This is despite the fact that the president sat for 18 interviews with Woodward.