Trump asked intelligence chiefs to 'deny Russian Federation collusion', reports

Trump asked top two intelligence officials to deny Russian Federation collusion

According to WaPo's sources - "two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity" - Trump reached out to both Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coates and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers "to publicly deny the existence" of collusion.

President Trump's director of National Intelligence (DNI), Dan Coats would not comment on reports confirmed by CBS News that Mr. Trump had asked Coats and NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers to push back on the FBI's probe into whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Both Coats and Adm. Rogers reportedly refused to comply with Trump's request, deeming the request "inappropriate".

The Washington Post delivered yet another bombshell about the Russian Federation investigation on Monday night, with Adam Entous and Ellen Nakashima reporting that at some point before the May 9 firing of James Comey, senior White House officials "sounded out top intelligence officials about the possibility of intervening directly with Comey to encourage the FBI to drop its probe of Michael Flynn".

President Trump continued his attack on the free press by asking then-FBI Director James Comey to jail journalists who refuse to disclose the names of anonymous government sources responsible for leaking embarassing information about his administration.

"I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign", Brennan said.

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

"I don't feel it's appropriate for me to characterize discussions and conversations with the President", Coats told McCain.

"The President will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people", the spokesperson said.

Earlier in May, the Washington Post newspaper reported, citing officials, that Trump had revealed sensitive information to Lavrov and Kislyak during their May 10 meeting at the White House without the permission of the nation that provided the intelligence.

Trump made his appeal to Coats days after Comey's testimony, according to officials.

"If further reports are accurate that White House staff also tried to persuade personnel at these agencies to help get FBI Director Comey to back off an investigation involving (former national security adviser) Michael Flynn, the specter of possible obstruction has grown larger and more troubling".

Coats, meanwhile, condemned all leaks of classified information, without specifically addressing reports that Trump divulged highly classified information on Islamic State group threats to visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov two weeks ago. The White House reiterated the same rhetoric Monday.

The Washington Post reports that Trump is eyeing an outside legal team to defend him during Mueller's investigation.

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