Intelligence chiefs: No pressure from Trump administration on Russia probe

Intelligence chiefs: No pressure from Trump administration on Russia probe

Saying they did not feel pressured in any instance by the administration, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers refused to answer questions today about whether President Trump did or did not ask them to intervene in the Russian Federation investigation.

Two top United States intelligence officials on Wednesday testified that they had never been "pressured" to intervene in any investigation, disputing reports that President Trump had asked them to back off a probe into Russian Federation meddling in the election and any collusion by the Trump campaign.

On Wednesday, Coats and Rogers refused to answer senators' questions about their conversations with the president, saying they didn't want to share those private conversations in a public hearing.

USA intelligence chiefs have refused to comment on whether President Donald Trump asked them to curb an FBI-led investigation into contacts between his election campaign and Moscow.

Also being interviewed by the committee Wednesday were acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

That potential bombshell testimony-in which Comey also may address whether Trump urged him to halt or ease up on an investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn and his ties to Russia-comes Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"In my time of service", Coats said, "I have never been pressured, I've never felt pressure to intervene or interfere, in any way, with shaping intelligence in a political way".

"Why are you not answering the questions?"

Warner said he was "disappointed" with the officials' answers.

When Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the report detailed and disturbing, if true, Coats replied, with a smile, that he had been in Washington long enough not to take everything the paper reports "at face value".

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A Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 7, 2017.

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The conversations with Coats and Rogers took place in the wake of Comey testifying on March 20 that the FBI was investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

Mr. Coats said he would not discuss in open session about his conversations with President Trump.

"What is the legal basis for your refusal to testify to this committee?"

After the encounter, Coats discussed the conversation with other officials and decided that intervening with Comey as Trump had suggested would be inappropriate, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal matters.

He grilled Coats with the same questions as well and attempted to get them both to commit to giving more direct and forthright answers in a closed session. "At some point these facts have to come out". Senator Mark Warner was the first to ask Coats and Mike Rogers about Trump's request to intervene and downplay FBI investigation.

"I think everybody understands it's an uncomfortable situation", the senior government official said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it's standard practice for executive branch officials, such as the ones who testified, to decline to discuss conversations with the president.

Later in the hearing, Sen.

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