Trump Asked Intelligence Chiefs to Intervene in Comey's Russia Investigation

Both Coats and Rogers denied feeling pressured by Trump to intervene in the handling of intelligence in any inappropriate way - but refused to answer specific questions about their interactions 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.

The hearing comes a day before Comey, who was sacked by Trump on May 9, testifies before the panel, although reports say he will stop short of saying the president's conduct reached the level of obstruction when Trump pressed him to drop the probe into disgraced former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, ABC News said Tuesday. And, he added, "I do not recall having been pressured to do so". But at the same time, they refused to.

"Comey said he told Trump he was not "'reliable' in the way politicians use that word, but he could always count on me to tell him the truth".

All facing questions about President Trump.

The Senate intelligence committee convenes on Wednesday to ask the country's law enforcement and intelligence chiefs to review the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - kicking off two days of what's been hyped as some of the most intense congressional hearing activity in recent history.

In May, two current and two former officials told the Post that Trump appealed to both Coats and NSA chief Rogers in separate conversations to publicly deny there is any evidence his campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

Many senators were not happy with their answers.

Heinrich: Did Director Comey ever share details of his conversations with the president with you, and in particular, did Director Comey say the president had asked for his loyalty?

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Trump has repeatedly denied any coordination took place between his campaign and the Russian government, which, according to USA intelligence agencies, stole emails embarrassing to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and leaked them to undermine her campaign.

ROGERS: I stand by my previous statement, sir.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey, who was sacked by Trump on May 9, is scheduled to testify before the same committee on Thursday morning.

Heinrich: You don't think the American people deserve the answer to that question?

FILE PHOTO - Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe arrives to testify before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. May 11, 2017.

"The chair is going to exercise its right to allow the witnesses to answer the question, and committee is on notice to provide witnesses the courtesy, which has not been extended all the way across", Burr said.

Brian Hale, a DNI spokesman, declined to comment on whether Trump asked Coats to intervene with Comey regarding the Flynn investigation.

Section 702 allows the NSA to collect digital communications of foreigners believed to be living overseas whose communications pass through US telephone or Internet providers.

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