Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against Federal Bureau of Investigation collusion probe

Last week, against White House wishes, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named another former FBI director, Robert Mueller, as special counsel to lead the criminal investigation of possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

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.

Donald Trump's intelligence chief declined to comment Tuesday on media reports that the president pressured him to publicly deny that evidence existed of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation to influence the 2016 USA presidential race.

It follows reports last week that the president pressed Comey himself in meetings and phone calls to pull back on the investigation, which the White House had denied.

In one of the latest examples of media outlets' guessing about Trump's talks with Lavrov is the claim that former FBI Director James Comey's dismissal had been discussed.

During testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Coats refused to comment on The Washington Post report. Officials said such memos could be made available to both the special counsel now overseeing the Russian Federation investigation and congressional investigators, who might explore whether Trump sought to impede the FBI's work.


Both Coats and Rogers were uncomfortable with the nature of the president's request and refused to comply, CNN reports.

According to CNN, a person familiar with the case said, "In one memo, Comey mentioned that Trump asked him to end the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into former national security advisor Michael Flynn".

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.

According to the Post, an internal NSA memo written by a "senior NSA official" documented Trump's request at the time he made it. "The President will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people".

Trump later decried the naming of a special counsel, calling it a "witch hunt" and saying it "hurts the country". Kushner is now a White House adviser.

Schiff's committee is one of several panels investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operations. "With so many Trump administration officials potentially tangled up in this investigation and lawyering up all over Washington, such a recusal rule could make it extremely hard for the special prosecutor to hire a staff".


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