Dan Coats, Trump’s own national intelligence director, took the remarkable step of issuing his own statement that refuted the president following the press conference.

“The role of the Intelligence Community is to provide the best information and fact-based assessments possible for the President and policymakers,” Coats said in his statement. “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan said Trump’s statements at the news conference were enough for Congress to consider impeachment.

“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous,” Brennan tweeted. “Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Thomas Pickering was also left aghast.

“It’s a breathtaking denial of something that is so clearly obviously true that it represents the epitome of President Trump’s effort at self-promotion over defending the national interest of the United States,” Pickering said on MSNBC.
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