Coats faced "a choice" after Trump issued a stunning rebuke of the United States intelligence community, saying he doesn't "see any reason why" Russian Federation would be responsible for interfering in the 2016 election - touting Putin's vigorous denial then pivoting to complaints about the Democratic National Committee's server and missing emails from Hillary Clinton's personal account.
Asked if there was anything he thinks Russian Federation should take responsibility for, Trump said: 'We're all to blame'. And thus far the only figure in the administration to contradict Mr Trump has been Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
Speaking to Fox News following his summit on Monday with Trump in Helsinki, Finland, the Russian president said: "Do you really believe that someone acting from the Russian territory could have influenced the United States and influenced the choice of millions of Americans?"
Similarly, House Speaker Paul Ryan said: "There is no question that Russian Federation interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world".
"I think we've all been foolish".
Last week, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers by name for interfering in the election.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) speaks with news media at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington on Monday.
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The world watches as Trump and Putin meet in Helsinki
The Arizona Republican says the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki was "a tragic mistake". Americans were disappointed, embarrassed, outraged and a whole host of other negative adjectives.
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Mr Putin "just said it is not Russian Federation".
Former CIA chief John Brennan suggested Trump should be removed from office: "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to and exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes and misdemeanours.' It was nothing short of treasonous. But our cooperation between the two countries has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives", said Trump.
"The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in coordination with worldwide partners, have detected Russian government actors targeting government and businesses in the energy, nuclear, water, aviation and critical manufacturing sectors", Coats said at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington on Friday.
Senator Susan Collins said Trump's "position is untenable", while Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, also a Republican, outlined Russian aggression on several fronts and said the United States "will not tolerate hostile Russian activities against us or our allies".
Putin said the USA leader's stance on Crimea was "well-known" and said Trump "continues to maintain that it was illegal to annex it".
All four members of Maine's congressional delegation are criticizing President Donald Trump for downplaying Russia's interference in the 2016 election. "We did make a good start today", he said. "Patriots need to stand up and reject the behavior of this president".
"The president's comments in Helsinki were deeply alarming", said Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo.
Trump has repeatedly branded the Mueller probe a "witch hunt". Trump arrived at the Palace about 15 minutes after Putin.