Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

President Trump Asked Top Intelligence Officials to Push Back Against FBI


In what universe did Trump think that either of them would respond positively to such a blunt request?

The Washington Post subsequently reported that President Barack Obama's defense secretary and director of national intelligence had recommended that Rogers be removed as head of the NSA. Some Republicans sought to give Trump some political cover.

President Trump called two top intelligence officials in March, NSA Director Michael Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, to ask them for help pushing back against the FBI's collusion investigation.

CNN has not yet confirmed the Post's reporting.

But Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, warned that the latest reports represent "yet another disturbing allegation that the President was interfering in the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe".

"At best, it's unseemly to try and stop an investigation of which you are the subject", Himes said. "He understands the intelligence community, as you know he was a U.S. ambassador to Germany so he has that experience in foreign policy, and he's a very amiable, easy-to-work-with person".

If I were Donald Trump's chief of staff, I'd just break his thumbs.

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The president made "separate appeals" to the directors of national intelligence and the National Security Agency to say no evidence existed, the newspaper reported, citing "current and former officials".

As he testified before the House Intelligence Committee, Brennan said he was "aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and USA persons involved in the Trump campaign". Both intelligence officials declined to issue the denials. If the Rogers memo is real, the paper trail on the president's efforts to evade scrutiny is growing very long; Comey is also believed to have filed a memo about a conversation with Trump during which the president attempted to squash an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's Russian Federation links. Meanwhile, the US Justice Department has appointed Robert Mueller, the highly-regarded former FBI Director originally appointed by President George W. Bush, as Special Counsel overseeing the investigation into Russian interference. Comey had kept him completely in the dark.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who chairs the Freedom Caucus, also had not read the article as he left a Monday evening vote.

Trump reportedly told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak "code-word information" related to an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) plot.

Meadows said he has yet to see any evidence of collusion.

"Comey is actually going to meet with Bob Mueller, who was appointed last week as a special counsel in this Russian Federation investigation, to determine what he can and can't say in that public testimony", CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported.

This news comes on the same day that former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn invoked his Fifth Amendment rights by refusing to provide documents requested by the Senate Intelligence Committee. "Are you able to assist in this matter?" one official said of the line of questioning from the White House.

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