Coats, Rogers Won't Discuss Talks With Trump About Russia Probe

Maine U.S. Republican Sen. Susan Collins at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing

Maine U.S. Republican Sen. Susan Collins at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing

Coats said intelligence gathered through the program had been instrumental in building a "robust body of knowledge about the personal network of an individual providing support to a leading terrorist in Iraq and Syria". Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers were questioned Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee, CNN reports.

"100%", the President said when asked about his willingness to deliver sworn testimony during a Rose Garden news conference.

Comey said he was taken aback by specific requests, including one during a private Oval Office meeting in February where he said Trump asked him to end a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Some officials said they viewed the prospective appointment of Feinberg as an effort by the White House to put pressure on intelligence agencies to close ranks with the White House. Is there or not?

Both declined repeatedly to discuss their conversations with Trump, answering in general terms.

Warner told Rogers the committee had "facts that there were other individuals" who were aware of his conversation with Trump and that a memo had been prepared "because of concerns" about the call.

INSKEEP: Senator Angus King joins us now.

Sen. Angus King of ME, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, picked up on Heinrich's questions, demanding a "legal justification" for why Rogers and Coats were not answering questions. Senator, welcome back to the program.

King's comments came during an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Glad to be here. Rosenstein would not answer questions Wednesday about Comey's firing.

"The President has said in his own words that he fired Mr. Comey to make the investigation go away", said Wyden, an Oregon Democrat. King, typically seen as one of the Senate's more genial members, snapped at Rogers: "What you feel isn't relevant, admiral".

KING: Well, it was - it was really kind of puzzling because the questions were - were fairly straightforward.

"The challenge, and I'm not picking on reporters, about writing stories about classified information is the people talking about it often don't really know what's going on". Is there - this classified - and there was really no answer to that. You'll have an opportunity to ask him those then. And our job is to get to the facts about this matter.

Those questions did not get far.

HEINRICH: I'm not asking you that. "And we've gotten no answer from any of you".

"I'm not sure I have a legal basis", admitted Coats. I just can't discuss that. Rogers told the Senate committee he never felt pressured by the White House. What was the conversation?

ROGERS: I'm not going to talk about theoreticals today.

Well, wait a minute. What's - what you feel isn't the answer. What does that mean? As the briefing was wrapping up, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

That occurred two days after Comey publicly confirmed that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign for possible collusion with Russian Federation. He's already released written testimony, as we mentioned.

The Senate Intelligence Committee held an open hearing to discuss Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) legislation with top intelligence officials.

KING: Well, all the - all the discussion has been contact between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

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