Grassley may call on Mueller over documents request

The attempts to compel Flynn to produce documents were just another sign of the intense focus on Trump's former national security adviser, who was sacked in February after the White House said he misled administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about his contacts with Russian officials.

The White House offered no comment on the reported calls Trump made to Coats and Rogers.

Now, it appears that Comey wasn't the only intelligence official President Trump asked to stop probing his closest allies.

Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.

On March 20, former FBI Director James Comey confirmed under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that there was an ongoing FBI investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian interests.

"I don't feel it's appropriate to characterize discussions and conversations with the president", said Coats, a former Republican senator from IN, at a Senate Armed Services Committee worldwide threats hearing.

Brennan said he is "aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and USA persons involved in the Trump campaign". "And it raised questions in my mind, again, whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals".

White House officials say Mr Comey's testimony about the scope of the FBI probe upset Mr Trump, who has dismissed the FBI and congressional investigations as a "witch hunt" and repeatedly said there was no collusion.

The comments came one day after lawyers for Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn informed the Senate Intelligence Committee that he would not cooperate with a subpoena for records of communications related to Russian Federation. He added that Russian efforts to undercut Clinton would likely have continued into her presidency had she been victorious.

A former official also told the Post that Mr. Trump's requests were rejected because they threatened the independence of American intelligence agencies. The two men also exchanged notes about their conversations with the president, the source said.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president. Trump urged them to rebut claims that Russian Federation coordinated its effort with Trump campaign aides to help the real-estate-magnate-turned-Republican-politician win the White House. The White House, however, described the story as "unsubstantiated" and stemming from "illegal leaks".

Last week, against White House wishes, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, named another former FBI director, Robert Mueller, as special counsel to lead the criminal investigation of possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. "The President will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people".

  • Leroy Wright