WaPo: Trump Asked DNI, NSA Director To Push Back Against FBI Russia Probe

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, left, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, take their seats next to National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017. It is an annual hearing about the major threats facing the U.S., but former FBI Director Jim Comey's sudden firing is certain to be a focus of questions. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Fro left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, prio... Fro left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, prior to testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) MORE LESS

President Donald Trump in March asked the director of national intelligence and director of the National Security Agency to push back against the FBI’s investigation into whether members of his campaign colluded with Russian officials last year, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed current and former officials, that Trump asked Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and NSA Director Michael Rogers to publicly deny that any evidence of collusion existed.

He made that request after former FBI Director James Comey confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee that his bureau was conducting an investigation into whether there was any “coordination” between Russian officials and Trump’s associates during the campaign, according to the Washington Post.

Two unnamed current and two unnamed former officials cited in the report said that Coats and Rogers deemed Trump’s request inappropriate and refused to do so.

Trump made the request to Rogers in a phone call, according to the Washington Post, and a senior NSA official documented the conversation in an internal memo written at the time.

Senior officials in Trump’s administration also approached top intelligence officials about the possibility of asking Comey to shut down his bureau’s investigation into Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the Washington Post reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

An unnamed official told the Washington Post that those officials wondered whether they could ask Comey “to shut down the investigation.”

The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment, but told the Washington Post that it “does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals.”

The New York Times reported last week that Trump personally asked Comey in February to drop the FBI investigation into Flynn, a request that Comey also documented in a contemporaneous memo.

Also in February, CNN reported that White House officials — including chief of staff Reince Priebus — asked members of the FBI and other federal agencies to refute stories about contact between members of the Trump campaign and Russian nationals.

According to CNN, Comey was one of the officials approached, and refused to comment on the stories because of the ongoing FBI investigation.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: