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Top Intelligence Officials Mum on Interactions With President

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said he has "never been pressured" to intervene in an ongoing investigation, but he would not say whether President Trump asked him to influence the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

The questions from the Senate intelligence committee, at a hearing on surveillance law, were in response to news media reports that both Coats and Rogers had been asked by Trump to publicly state that there was no evidence of collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign. In May, The Post's Adam Entous and Ellen Nakashima reported that Trump asked Coats and Rogers to tell the public there was no evidence of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.

Both Coats and Rogers said they had contacted the White House to ask whether it meant to invoke executive privilege regarding the president's conversations with them, which could prevent the intelligence chiefs from testifying about them. The deputy attorney general then held a two closed-door briefings about his actions for lawmakers - some of whom were impressed and others who wanted to know much more. They filibustered, claimed they didn't like the public forum and noted that they felt that answering certain questions was inappropriate. "As the attacks in London, Paris, Manchester, Melbourne and the list, unfortunately, goes on and on, all those attacks have demonstrated terrorists continue to plot attacks that target innocent civilians", Mr. Warner said.

Bars in Washington are opening early to allow patrons to imbibe while watching Comey get grilled, with at least one bar offering to buy a round of drinks on the house every time Trump tweets about Comey's testimony.

The sources said Coats concluded after the meeting that Trump's suggestion that he intervene with Comey's investigation would be inappropriate.

"I stand by the comments I've made", Rogers said.




The conversations with Coats and Rogers took place in the wake of Comey testifying on March 20 that the FBI was investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

But the hearing quickly moved to the witnesses' interactions with Trump, after the Washington Post had reported the night before the hearing that Trump asked Coats to convince Comey to end the Russian Federation investigation.

She said the White House had not yet received any follow-up requests regarding the testimony of Coats or Rogers.

"I'm not satisfied with, "I do not believe it is appropriate" or 'I do not feel I should answer", said King. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the Senate Intelligence Committee's vice chairman, said.

And repeatedly, they gave roughly the same answer: "no comment". "What I'm not willing to do is to share what I think is confidential information that ought to be protected in an open hearing, so I am not prepared to answer your question today". In that case, the White House would have to make a decision: Should Trump assert executive privilege over the conversations, or let his intelligence community testify openly about their conversations with him? That indicates, as Coats suggested, that the officials might reply with more candor in a closed, or classified, Senate session.

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