Trump asked top intel officials to DENY Russian collusion

Gwen Vasquez
May 25, 2017

When Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the committee's chairman, asked Coats about the story, the former Republican senator from IN did not deny the report but said he didn't want to characterize or comment any private conversations with the president. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, asked Coats hypothetically whether it would be appropriate for a president to ask the director of national intelligence to deny evidence of cooperation.

The account was first reported in The Washington Post.

Mueller, a former FBI director, was appointed as special counsel last week after The New York Times report alleged President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to stop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn a day after his resignation.

One official who spoke with NBC News, however, painted Trump's appeals to Coats and Rogers as less insidious and more indicative of the president's ignorance about how the intelligence community works and the independence of the respective agencies and their heads. Brennan added he didn't know if "collusion existed" between the Russians and those he identified as involved in the Trump campaign. "It raised questions in my mind about whether Russian Federation was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals".

Mueller also visited FBI headquarters and discussed with the counter intelligence agents, who have been involved in the investigation of Russia's meddling in the US elections since last July. Read what he says about Russian attempts to win over individuals after the jump (and after the Trump story).

"Might be good to get them back", Manchin said.

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Dan Coats is the former Republican senator from IN whom Trump appointed to his position.

The attempts to compel Flynn to produce documents were just another sign of the intense focus on Trump's former national security adviser, who was sacked in February after the White House said he misled administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about his contacts with Russian officials.

Trump reportedly asked intelligence chiefs... One memo reportedly shows Trump pressuring Comey to shut down the bureau's investigation into Flynn's Russian Federation ties. "It would then need two-thirds of the Senate to vote to convict the president, and it is also controlled by Republicans right now".

According to the Post, an internal NSA memo written by a "senior NSA official" documented Trump's request at the time he made it.

When Comey announced the results of the Clinton investigation last July, he criticized her "extremely careless" handling of "very sensitive, highly classified information", saying she "should have known" the unsecured private email system she used "was no place" to discuss such matters. He said the Trump administration has not directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to withhold information from members of Congress conducting oversight. So the Republicans failed in their mission to provide cover for Trump-and they ended up highlighting the legitimacy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry begun under Comey. Sen.Coates and Rogers both deemed the requests to be inappropriate, and both refused to comply. It was more of a public relations request, they believed, according to the official.

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