U.S. intelligence chiefs decline to comment on Trump inquiry

Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence was also repeatedly asked about private conversations he may have had with President Trump.

"I've never been directed to do anything inappropriate nor have I felt pressured to do so", Director Rogers said.

"Most of the information I've shared with the President, obviously, is directed toward intelligence matters during our oval briefings every morning at the White House, or most mornings when both the president and I'm in town", Coats said.

Noting that none of the witnesses denied the Washington Post's report alleging Trump leaned on Coats and Rogers to talk to Comey about killing the Flynn investigation, Warner added: "It seems that what type of conversations the president had about the investigation will only be given in a classified setting". Director Admiral Michael Rogers said no one had ever made him feel pressured to do something wrong. McCabe repeated his first answer, and Heinrich reminded McCabe again the question was about the conversations that he (McCabe) had with Comey.

Comey is expected to answer questions about the president's alleged links to Russian Federation and reports that Trump tried to quash the investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation.

With the frustrated lawmakers gearing up for Thursday's long-awaited testimony from ousted FBI Director James Comey, the committee on Wednesday afternoon took the unusual step of releasing the written statement Comey plans to deliver.

"I don't believe it's appropriate for me to address that in a public session", Coats replied.


Michael Rogers said that he had never been asked to do anything illegal or inappropriate during testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.

KING: You swore that oath to tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and today you are refusing to do so. Rosenstein would not answer questions Wednesday about Comey's firing. Trump fired Comey in May.

But the hearing quickly moved to the witnesses' interactions with Trump, after the Washington Post had reported the night before the hearing that Trump asked Coats to convince Comey to end the Russian Federation investigation. "I served on the committee here and often saw that information that had been discussed had been reported but that wasn't always accurate", Coats told McCain.

He told Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the committee's ranking Democrat, that he did not want to discuss the matter in an open hearing, but he insisted he had "never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way". And does that not deny newspaper reports suggesting quite the opposite, that Dan Coats was pressured?

When asked if he was concerned or uncomfortable with Rosenstein overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, Warner said he hopes Rosenstein will quell these concerns.

Both men struggled to provide a consistent rationale for why they could not discuss the conversations with Trump.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia asked if they could show up in the SCIF, the secure facility for classified hearings, but Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr said that was not an option.

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