US Intelligence Initiated No Assessment on Info Trump Revealed to Lavrov - Coats

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats left and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers prepare to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 11. MUST CREDIT Washington Post

The president made the request after then Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey revealed that the agency had been investigating Russian interference into the election since July 2016.

In response to that effort, intelligence officials-including Comey, director of national intelligence Daniel Coats, and director of the National Security Agency Adm. Michael Rogers-are diligently and loudly ringing alarm bells for all of us to hear.

John McCain, R-Ariz., questioned him about a Washington Post report that Trump allegedly asked him and Adm. Michael S. Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, to publicly dispute that any evidence exists of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Both officials turned down Trump's requests in March for a public denial, according to the Washington Post, which based its reports on information from unnamed current and former officials.

The report comes almost a week after it was reported that former FBI Director James Comey kept a memo about how Trump asked him to end a probe into Michael Flynn and Russian Federation.

Coats declined to comment during a Senate armed services committee hearing Tuesday, that had been previously scheduled.

Trump fired Comey, who was leading a separate Justice Department investigation on Russian Federation, on May 9.

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"As the president's principal intelligence advisor, I need to spend a significant amount of time with the president discussing national security interests and intelligence", he said.

In his call with Rogers, Trump urged the NSA director to speak out publicly if there was no evidence of collusion, according to officials briefed on the exchange.

"The President will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people", the spokesperson said. "I was in Europe and he was in the White House", Coats replied, fidgeting with a pen on the desk before him.

Shaheen was asking Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDan CoatsMcCain: Trump-Russia allegations like a "lousy movie" The Hill's 12:30 Report Intel chief has not talked with Trump about reported disclosure of classified info MORE how Trump's reported actions in a meeting earlier this month affect U.S. intelligence sharing agreements with other countries. In any case, the fact that Trump fired Comey while Comey was investigating many of his associates is suspicious.

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the panel, asked Coats hypothetically whether it would be appropriate if a president reached out to a director of national intelligence to make a request to deny evidence of cooperation.

Reuters reported a week ago that Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak about a planned Islamic State operation.

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