Senators to ask about Trump pushback on Russia investigation

Michele Moreno
June 11, 2017

The director of the US National Security Agency has said he has never been asked to do anything illegal or felt pressure to do anything immoral during his three years at the helm. Angus King why he would not answer a direct question about the alleged Trump conversation, Rogers said simply, "I feel it is inappropriate, Senator".

U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russian Federation interfered in the United States election and they are investigating alleged links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Coats is among a number of top USA national security officials scheduled to testify before the Senate panel - including acting Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Andrew McCabe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote the memo used as authorization to fire Comey, and Rogers, who reports say was also approached by Trump to defend Flynn. But neither Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats nor NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers would say anything about what Trump told them. "I haven't ever felt pressured to intervene or interfered in anyway in shaping intelligence in a political way". Rosenstein also declined to discuss conversations related to Trump's dismissal of Comey. "What you feel isn't the answer".

MARK WARNER: All I'd say. Trump fired Comey in May. I said it was a paradox: Throughout history, some Presidents have decided that because "problems" come from Justice, they should try to hold the Department close.

ROGERS: I stand by the comments I've made.

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.

Coats and Rogers said they would be prepared to answer more questions in a closed session on Wednesday afternoon, and the committee chairman, Richard Burr told them to go back to the administration to make sure they could answer questions in closed session or in an even more secret setting with congressional leaders.

On Thursday, James Comey shall testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. On March 22, two days after Comey confirmed that the FBI was investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Trump asked Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo to intervene in the ongoing FBI investigation.

Comey's testimony - released Wednesday afternoon before senators headed into a classified briefing with Coats - jibes with reports that Trump wanted Coats and Rogers to publicly rebut Russian Federation stories.

King wanted to know why Rogers wasn't answering, since he hadn't exercised executive privilege and the questions being asked weren't classified.

The top Democrat on the committee said media reports that Trump tried to intervene in the probes are jarring. "What I'm not willing to do is share information I think ought to be protected in an opening hearing", Mr Coats told the panel.

The refusal to answer questions on conversations with the president irritated both Democrats and Republicans.

"There was no assertion of executive privilege, and thus I don't understand why these individuals did not answer all of our questions today", Collins said.

Other reports by Insurance News

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