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Top Intel Community Officials Deny That Trump Pressured Them On Russia Probe

10 June 2017

"I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, unethical, immoral or inappropriate", Rogers said, adding that he has "never felt pressure to do so".

Both men said they have never felt pressured from Trump's administration to intervene in investigations into Russian meddling into the USA election, contradicting reports that the President had previously asked them to downplay the probe.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Coats told associates Trump asked him to intervene with Comey and get him to back off former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The Post had also reported that Trump asked Rogers and Coats to publicly deny that there is any evidence that his campaign had connections to Russian Federation.

"We are in a public session here, and I do not feel that it is appropriate for me to address confidential information".

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The day after the report, Coats declined to answer whether it was true - but Coats also teased that he may be open to answering the question if asked by the right committee.

"You're in positions whereby you're required to keep this committee fully and now informed of intelligence activities", Burr said. Rogers offered that the conversations were classified. Coats responded bluntly, "I don't take any notes", sparking a round of nervous laughter in the hearing room.

Sen. Angus KingAngus KingAngus King on Trump-Comey "tapes": "Release them" Kushner to meet with Senate Intel staff: reports The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (I-Maine) on Thursday called for the release of any taped conversations between President Trump and former FBI Director James Comey. Senators plan to use the opportunity to grill Rosenstein to answer questions in public for the first time about the President's motivations for firing Comey and whether it was meant to quash the Russian Federation investigation.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it's standard practice for executive branch officials, such as the ones who testified, to decline to discuss conversations with the president.

Both Coats and National Security Agency chief Mike Rogers said they would not discuss any private conversations that they have had with Trump, refusing to answer several questions by Republicans and Democrats as the atmosphere in the hearing room grew increasingly tense. "I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so".

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In it, Comey details a series of interactions with Trump that made him uneasy and appear to show the president disregarding the FBI's traditional independence from the White House. He added, senators can ask Comey himself about his conversations with Trump tomorrow, and Comey's prepared opening statement suggests the fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director is ready to be much more forthcoming than today's witnesses.

DETROW: He did not want to get into the specifics of that particular story, and he stuck to the broad-scale, I have not felt pressure.

MARCO RUBIO: And I actually think if what is being said to the media is untrue, then it is unfair to the president of the United States. The intelligence chiefs indicated they would be more comfortable speaking in a closed environment and Burr suggested during the hearing that he would schedule time for the four men to return for a closed session.

McCabe: I think I'll let Director Comey speak for himself tomorrow before this committee.

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