WH issues Trump walk-back on Russia for 3rd day in a row

The director of national intelligence openly criticized the president's decision to meet one-on-one with Putin.
5:07 | 07/19/18

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Transcript for WH issues Trump walk-back on Russia for 3rd day in a row
more if we get more stulation frothe white house that we're following at this ur theews from the white house that discussions are I the works for Vladimir Putin to come to Washington. The newse tod coming in tweet from the whiteouse press cretary Sarah Sanders, at all comes the president tried to clarify what he Saide world stage when he appeared si to side with slad peer Putin and headed with him over his intelligence agencies.tonight rht here we're a to theirector of national intelligence,he moment he is told about thisewet atns are in the works to ING putino Erica. Here's ABC's senior white house correspot,eg tonight. Reporter: Apresident trump boasts about hisationship with vdimir Putin, calling their meeting a T success. S white hoe, third ecutive da was forced to issue yet another russiak ba. This time, over a proposal by Putin himself -- russauwould questihe 12 russn litary officers recently indicted by speccounsel rort Mueller, with amecans invite to WATC in exchange Moscow would then be allowed to question American citizenscc of unspecified crimes. In Helsinki, the president se third by the idea. Whate did is an incredle offer. He offer thave the people working on case comend work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people I think that's an incred R. Reporter: One of the americanssia wants to on, former U.S. Ambassado to Russia, Michael Mcfaul. The white house asked if they D allow th. S president trump support that idea, is he open to having us officiauestioned Russia? The president wmeet with his te we'll let you know when we have an announcement on that. Reporr: The bacash, immediate.om Mcfaul, pleading directly with the trump administration. My government, I hill EP up today antegoricall swat this backhemy rnment, I anesident of the United States of America. Repter: To capitol hill -- Naive and absurd. E is no ru of law in Russia, there is the rule of Putin. That the president would even entertain the idea of subjecting our omin's thuggery? Th is an abuse of power. Reporter: In the face of that unrelenting criticism, today the whhouse back down. Press secretary, Sarah Sanders saying in a statement --it is a proshat was ma in sincerity by president pu but president trdisagrees with it. And secry of state Mike pompeoe it clear -- The administration ot in force Americans tto Russia to be interrogatedvladimir pin ans Reporter: What exactly esident tmp and Vladimir Putin discussed behind closed doors ins a mry. And tonight, in a stunning public rebuke the president's own ctor of naonal intelligan coats opey criticized the decision to meet one one. If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, I WOU have suggested a differ but that's not my role, that's not my job so it is what it is. Reporter: Coats says he has nodea what the leaders discussed, but one person who does? E president's trator, marina gross. Congress, Republican and demoatic lead are debating whether to request her notes or compel her to testify. Let'se E interpreters were the only ones Russia's going Tay this game. They're already out there talking T important ements bei reached a they will, over the next while, characterize those agreements in the way they want to. An we have nwa pushing back, if the administration doesn'shn we've gobig probe A Cecilia Vega joins us now from the white house, and Cecilia, weard fm the director of national intelligence, Dan coats, a Republican your rept there. He sd today that he would not advised have that twur mting withy the president and V Putin behind closed doors, that he ul suggested another way, a there wlso this moment today when he was suenly told O a tweet that had just C frothe white house about Vladimir putinow coming to the U.S. I wanted tow everyone at home, and tch the Dirr of naonal inteigence. Watch his reaction. We have some breakinnews. E white hse hasnnounced on Twitter that sad peer Putin is to the wse in the fall. Say that again. That's going to be special. So Cecilia, thete house did say late today tt discussions are under way for Putin's visit, but clearly the director national intelligence there who just saideans are sll at this, the warning light is blinking red. Was clear he no idea th was coming. Reporter: It certainly seems that way, David, and that was far the only stunnin moment during that interview.co S that Putin may have recordedonald trum in their one-on-onetiind closed doors, and when coa was asked if he hasver consided resigning, he said, David, there are dheou think,t am doin T as long as he is able to speak the truth, he on board. More to come ons St Cecilia Vega tonight, and cecilia,hank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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