Trump reportedly asked intelligence chiefs to dispute FBI on Russia probe

Daniel Coats and Mike Rogers.
(Image credit: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

In March, President Trump approached Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, and Daniel Coats, director of national intelligence, and asked them to publicly deny that there was evidence of collusion between his campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election, current and former officials told The Washington Post.

Both men refused to go along with Trump's request, which they found inappropriate, the officials said; one person close to Coats told the Post, "The problem wasn't so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation." Trump contacted Rogers and Coats separately, the officials said, after former FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 about an investigation into links between Trump associates and the Russian government. Senior White House officials also reportedly went to top intelligence officials to see if they would contact Comey and urge him to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, with one person with knowledge of the request saying the White House officials asked: "Can we ask him to shut down the investigation? Are you able to assist in this matter?"

A White House spokesman told the Post it "does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals. The president will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people." You can read the entire report at The Washington Post.

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