Former Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsMister Rogers’s widow on Trump: ‘I think he’s just a horrible person’ Election security briefing changes send wrong signal Trump flails as audience dwindles and ratings plummet MORE had suspicions that Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinHouse panel calls for Trump to investigate Russia’s role in Navalny poisoning The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind – Trump, Biden battle over vaccine, economy; Congress returns Hospital says top Putin critic is out of coma, responsive MORE “had something on Trump,” according to excerpts of Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book “Rage.”
Woodward writes that Coats “continued to harbor the secret belief, one that had grown rather than lessened, although unsupported by intelligence proof, that Putin had something on Trump,” according to excerpts reported by CNN on Wednesday.
Woodward wrote that Coats thought, “how else to explain the president’s behavior? Coats could see no other explanation.”
Coats, who served as Trump’s top intelligence official from March 2017 to August 2019, and his top staff members “examined the intelligence as carefully as possible.” According to Woodward’s book, Coats still questions the relationship between Trump and Putin, CNN reported.
“Coats saw how extraordinary it was for the president’s top intelligence official to harbor such deep suspicions about the president’s relationship with Putin. But he could not shake them,” Woodward writes, according to CNN.
The Hill reached out to the White House for comment in regards to Woodward’s reported excerpts about Coats.
Woodward’s book, the second he’s written on Trump’s presidency, is set to be released next week. Excerpts were reported by CNN and The Washington Post on Wednesday.
Woodward also released recordings of his interviews with Trump for the book Wednesday, including one where Trump acknowledged he downplayed the threat of the coronavirus to the nation.
Trump said that “perhaps” he downplayed the coronavirus to “reduce panic,” when asked on Wednesday about the released interview recordings.