It was a jaw-dropping moment that embodied the utterly unfathomable, logic-defying and increasingly troubling twilight zone into which Washington has plunged since the Helsinki summit.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was onstage at a security forum in Aspen, Colorado, when he was told by NBC's Andrea Mitchell that the White House had announced on Twitter that President Donald Trump had invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit in the fall.
"Say that again," Coats said, doing a double take and laughing in disbelief at the absurdity of the latest episode in the Russia saga. Once he had collected himself, he added: "Okaaaay. ... That's going to be special." Join us today let us hear your voice!