"Say that again."
The quote of the day, it turns out, came from the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates after he was told in front of a live audience by MSNBC news anchor Andrea Mitchell that the White House announced on Thursday afternoon that President Donald Trump has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin for a meeting later this year.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats informed on stage at Aspen Security Forum that the Trump administration has invited Vladimir Putin to the White House.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 19, 2018
With audience members at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado laughing and Coates making gestures of disbelief, he added, "Okay... That's going to be special."
As the Associated Press noted:
The announcement came as the White House sought to clean up days of confounding post-summit Trump statements on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump's public doubting of Russia's responsibility in a joint news conference with Putin on Monday provoked withering criticism from Republicans as well as Democrats and forced the president to make a rare public admission of error.
Then on Thursday, the White House said Trump "disagrees" with Putin's offer to allow U.S. questioning of 12 Russians who have been indicted for election interference in exchange for Russian interviews with the former U.S. ambassador to Russia and other Americans the Kremlin accuses of unspecified crimes. Trump initially had described the idea as an "incredible offer."
And that's the news on U.S. national intelligence for the day.