Congress hearings show no Trump campaign-Russia collusion - White House official

Sen. John McCain on Tuesday said he didn't want to jump to conclusions regarding claims President Donald Trump asked intelligence officials to deny evidence his campaign cooperated with Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential election, but said he found the continued revelations about the issue "troubling".

The Post's reporting, which was additionally confirmed to NBC News, said that Trump approach Coats and Rogers in March after former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI was investigating "the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts".

"I don't feel it's appropriate to characterize discussions and conversations with the president", Coats added. "We discuss a number of topics".

Fired FBI Director James Comey wasn't the only one Trump tried to talk into ending investigations into possible collusion between his campaign and the Russians.

"Lives are at stakes in many instances, and leaks jeopardize those lives", Coats replied. Responding to a hypothetical follow-up, Coats added that "any political shaping of intelligence would be inappropriate". "If the president is trying to enlist the intelligence community to shut down that investigation, the American people have a right to know", wrote Ian Bassin, executive director of the watchdog nonprofit and former associate White House counsel in the Obama administration, in a web post. "I have made my position clear on that to this administration and I intend to maintain that position".

Coats also declined to state if he had discussed reported attempts by Trump to stifle the FBI's investigation.

A week ago, the Justice Department announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel in charge of the investigation.

However, Trump told NBC News in an interview two days later that "when I made a decision to just [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story". "On the other hand, if I'm called before an investigative committee, I certainly will provide them with what I know and what I don't know". Trump has acknowledged sharing classified information with the Russian officials but said Monday he did not identify Israel as its source.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is issuing two new subpoenas for information from Flynn's companies and challenging his attorney's refusal to comply with a current subpoena for documents detailing his contacts with Russian officials, committee leaders said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department declined to say the regulations apply to the "matters to which Special Counsel Mueller was appointed", but nevertheless concluded Mueller's appointment to lead the Russian Federation probe is valid.

  • Leroy Wright