Speed Reads

the saga continues

Trump reportedly asked the national intelligence chief to intervene with Comey on the Russia investigation

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told associates that in March, President Trump personally requested that he urge then-FBI Director James Comey to back away from investigating former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, The Washington Post reports. Flynn is a central figure in the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

On March 22, Coats was attending a meeting at the White House with officials from other agencies, and when it was over, Trump asked everyone to leave but Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, people with knowledge of the event told the Post. Trump complained about Comey and the investigation, and then made his request of Coats. Coats told associates he spoke about the conversation with other officials, and they agreed it was inappropriate.

In May, the Post reported that Coats and Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, were asked by Trump separately to publicly deny there was any evidence of collusion during the election. On Wednesday, Coats will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and members of the panel have already said they will ask him about his conversations with Trump regarding the FBI investigation. Spokesmen for Coats and Pompeo declined to comment to the Post.