In closed-door interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller and Senate investigators last week, two of the top intelligence community leaders said that President Donald Trump suggested they publicly deny that there was any collusion between Trump and the Russians, CNN reported early Thursday morning, citing unnamed sources.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers told investigators about Trump’s request, and said that they did not feel Trump was trying to interfere in the probes, CNN reported. Both said they were surprised by Trump’s suggestion and that the interactions were uncomfortable, per CNN.
The Washington Post had reported in May that Trump asked Coats and Rogers to deny in public that there was evidence of collusion.
During a public hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee, Coats and Rogers declined to confirm that Trump pressured them to end a probe into Michael Flynn. Rogers told the committee that he had not been “directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate.” Coats said that he “never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relationship to an ongoing investigation.”