United States intelligence chiefs decline to discuss Trump contacts

United States intelligence chiefs decline to discuss Trump contacts

United States intelligence chiefs decline to discuss Trump contacts

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. Angus King (I-ME), who caucuses with the Democrats, challenged FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe, NSA Director Michael Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats for refusing to answer to the committee tasked with overseeing their agencies. Rogers said he was yet to receive a definitive answer. And one fact to that testimony - as James Comey affirms - that he did tell President Trump, on a number of occasions, that he was not personally a target of a counterintelligence investigation, which the White House is taking as - as vindication.

Rogers: "I stand by the comments that I've made".

KING: Well I do mean it in a contentious way, I don't understand why you're not answering our questions.

McCabe said it would be inappropriate to discuss issues that might end up being part of the special counsel's investigation into Russian activities during the election. But clearly, I think Mr. Comey's written testimony, as you say, speaks for itself.

"And once again, senator, I will say that I do believe it's inappropriate for me to discuss that in an open session", Coats responded.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), noted that Coats and Rogers had said they had not felt "pressured" by Trump.

Almost two hours into the hearing, Sen.

Much of the morning-after media coverage of the hearing centered on Comey's assertion that Trump asked him to let go the FBI's probe into former national security advisor Michael Flynn. But even Burr, who helped advise the Trump transition team, admonished the panel that they can't simply avoid answering at all.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats repeatedly refused to answer questions Wednesday from members of a congressional committee to which he belonged in recent years. "You swore that oath - to tell us the truth. What's the legal basis for your refusal for you to testify to this committee".

He was, no doubt, expressing hope he will get a different answer from former FBI Director James Comey, who is scheduled to testify before the committee on Thursday.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Coats told associates Trump asked him to intervene with Comey in March. Mark Warner of Virginia, said that if the recent reports about White House efforts are true, "it would be an appalling and improper use of our intelligence professionals - an act that could erode the public's confidence in our intelligence institutions". "It's my judgment that I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation", Comey testified.

Both Coats and Rogers agreed that the "appropriate" thing was to discuss the matter in the closed session, which was set to take place later Wednesday afternoon.

"I would like a legal justification for your refusal to answer", King said.

King also pressed Coats to justify his decision not to answer the Senators' questions.

DETROW: Absolutely, because the other key conversation about pressure and ongoing investigations is the conversation that NPR and many other news outlets have reported that happened between President Trump and former FBI Director Jim Comey.

Coats said he would not share with the general public any conversations that he had with the president or his colleagues within the administration that he thought should not be shared.

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