Intelligence Heads Won't Say If Trump Asked Them To Intervene

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Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers were questioned Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee, CNN reports.

On Tuesday, the Post claimed that in a one-on-one meeting with Coats on March 22, Trump "asked him if he could intervene with then-FBI Director James B. Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russian Federation probe". They include the director of national intelligence, the head of the National Security Agency, the acting director of the FBI and the top Justice Department official overseeing the investigation of Russian interference in last year's presidential election. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat. I expect loyalty. I've been very loyal to you - very loyal - we had that thing, you know. "And when there are ongoing investigations, I think it's inappropriate to ..."

Coats reiterated a statement he made to The Post earlier in the hearing that he did not believe it was appropriate to publicly discuss private conversations he had with Trump.

Heinrich stated: "You realize, and obviously this is not releasing any classified information, but you realize how simple it would simply be to say, 'No, that never happened'".

Similarly, Coats said: "I do not believe it is appropriate for me" to comment on what the president said. What's - what you feel isn't the answer. "And to the best my recollection, during that same period of service, I do not recall ever feeling pressured to doing so".

Maybe you didn't feel pressure, but were you asked the question? If you can talk about it sort of, you can also answer the questions.

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"But I will make the following comment".

HORSLEY: Most of the complaints during the hearing came from Senate Democrats, but some Republicans were unhappy, too.

"I'm just not going to go down that road in a public forum", Coats said, adding that he'd be willing to answer questions from special counsel Robert Mueller if asked. "I may or may not have had with the president of the United States". "You swore that oath - to tell us the truth".

Kamala Harris' questioning of Rosenstein, Sens.

King noted that none of the men were answering any of the questions the American public has, but none of the men gave a shit because they all wanted off the hot seat.

"The chair is going to exercise the right to allow the witnesses to answer the question", Burr said after cutting off Harris' questions.

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KING: Well, if it - he may say, well, this vindicates me personally, but that doesn't get to the question of his associates and his campaign.

As he closed today's hearing, Sen.

While Coats, a former USA senator familiar with the chamber's traditions of collegial courtesy, appeared visibly unnerved by some of the questioning, Rogers was more defiant.

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday she had "no idea" if Trump had used a recording system to document past conversations with Comey.

"Is there an invocation of executive privilege?".

The Trump White House had been considering Robert Mueller III as a top candidate to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation before the deputy USA attorney general changed course and tapped Mueller to serve as special counsel investigating Russian interference in last year's election, two sources familiar with the process told NPR.

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The Senate Intelligence Committee held an open hearing to discuss Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) legislation with top intelligence officials. A follow up session behind closed doors is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. After the hearing, Sen.