Intelligence Chiefs Say They Weren't 'Pressured' to Intervene in FBI Investigation

Alvin Kelly
June 10, 2017

It was previously reported that Trump asked Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers to publicly deny evidence of cooperation between his campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats on Wednesday declined to comment on a bombshell Washington Post report that alleges he told associates in March that President Donald Trump asked him to calm down the FBI's investigation into Michael Flynn. King wanted to know why they weren't answering questions as to whether they had had conversations with the president, or whether or not they had conversations with now former FBI Director James Comey about Trump.

Top U.S. intelligence officials insisted Wednesday that they have never faced pressure to shape intelligence assessments to fit a political goal, amid questions from Democrats about whether President Trump pushed officials to drop a probe into Russia's influence on the election.

"I don't believe it's appropriate for me to address that in a public session", Coats told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"If he's even some point, these facts have to come out", Warner said.

Both Coats and Rogers said they were still awaiting word from the White House counsel on the issue of executive privilege.

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Warner was disappointed by Rogers' lackluster answer, and proceeded to ask Coats the same thing.

"You know, my job - I'm sitting there, representing the people of Maine saying here are the questions we want answered", he said.

The two would only say they had never felt "pressured" by the White House to do anything improper. "The president is not above the law". A day later Comey is scheduled to testify before the same Senate Committee.

The lack of answers from the four witnesses Wednesday raise the stakes for Comey's hearing.

"What I want to find out is, we've had press reports as recently as yesterday that maybe even a couple of times the President tried to intervene with Director Coats to ask him to either down play or dismiss the FBI investigation into contacts between trump officials", Warner told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" previewing his testimony.

Former FBI director James Comey, who Trump has said he fired over the Russian Federation probe, is scheduled to testify Thursday. Rosenstein wrote a memo that was critical of Comey shortly before Trump fired Comey. Trump complained that the probe had created a "cloud" over his presidency. "What is the legal basis for your refusal to testify to this committee?" In the statement, Comey says Trump asked him for "loyalty" at a January dinner. Sen Richard Burr of North Carolina, said Tuesday that he will focus on reauthorizing a key portion of a US surveillance law that is set to expire later this year. The provision, known as Section 702, lets investigators pursuing suspected foreign terrorists intercept the content of electronic communications believed to come from outside the US without specific warrants - even if one end of the exchange is inside the country or involves an American.

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