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Intel chiefs tell investigators Trump suggested they refute collusion with Russians

22 June 2017

During that meeting in front of the Senate panel, the two intelligence community chiefs refused to tell lawmakers if Trump asked them to refute the FBI's Russian Federation probe.

Two heads of US intelligence agencies told Special Counsel Robert Mueller and senate investigators that US President Donald Trump had asked them to publicly deny his campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the elections.

Coats and Rogers appear to have carefully framed their statements, and while talking to the Senate, they stressed that Trump (as he did with Comey) wanted them to publicly say that he wasn't under investigation.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers told investigators about Trump's request, and said that they did not feel Trump was trying to interfere in the probes, CNN reported.

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Yes, just normal stuff, all of this.

Neither official believed Trump was pushing them to do something they did not want to do, but neither Coats or Rogers acted on his suggestion. "Sad!" Trump tweeted last week.

The two also held classified hearings with senate investigators and anonymous Republican and Democrat sources told CNN that Trump had asked them to state publicly that he was not under investigation for involvement in the Russian hacking of the USA presidential election.

During testimony to the Senate intelligence committee on June 7, Coats and Rogers didn't answer many specific questions, but both said they weren't under pressure to publicly intervene in the inquiry. Having received no definitive answer regarding the matter from the White House, Coats and Rogers made a decision to play it safe and refused to divulge in specifics during their testimony, which frustrated both the Senate as well as the special counsel.

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They, however, did not believe the president ordered them to interfere with the ongoing investigations, sources said.

Coats offered a similar response. They did not get an answer from the White House before testifying and did not know how to answer the committee.

The closed-door meetings are classified, but both Democratic and Republican sources provided some details about them to CNN. Comey said that he felt Trump was pressuring him to drop the investigation as it was brought up in several subsequent phone calls. Instead, it simply documents that the interaction occurred - and makes clear that Rogers thought it was out of the ordinary.

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