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No pressure from Trump administration on Russian Federation probe — Intelligence chiefs


Obstruction of justice requires a prosecutor to prove President Trump had a corrupt intent to impede justice, said Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center. Yesterday, the same committee asked intelligence agency chiefs about their talks with the president.

It is well within the intelligence committee's purview to determine whether the president has tried to impede a national security investigation focused on a covert operation mounted by Russian Federation to subvert an American election. "Why are you not answering our questions?" a visibly angry King asked. He demanded to know why Rogers and Coats were not answering. A source not authorized to speak on the record but familiar with his thinking told me, "Senator Heinrich will seek to get answers one way or another". "I may or may not have had with the president of the United States". Is there or not? "The question is why are you not answering the question?"

ROGERS: - That I felt to be inappropriate, nor have I felt pressured to do so. King finally blew up, scolding Rogers that what he "feels" isn't relevant.

INSKEEP: Senator Angus King joins us now.

The top Democrat on the committee said media reports that Trump tried to intervene in the probes are jarring. Senator, welcome back to the program.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Morning, Steve. Glad to be here. Rogers refused to directly answer the question or comment upon his conversations with Trump. They didn't answer other questions. "I guess I've been around town long enough to say to not take everything at face value that's printed in the Post", Coats said.

KING: Well, it was - it was really kind of puzzling because the questions were - were fairly straightforward.

5. Will the White House exercise executive privilege?

"If the answer was, no, there was no discussion, that would have been really easy".

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked Coats and Rogers if they had been "asked" to "issue a statement that you knew to be false".

"As leaders in the intelligence community, you also have committed to act, and to provide advice and counsel, in a way that is unbiased, impartial, and devoid of any political considerations", Mr. Warner told the assembled officials.

The sources said Coats concluded after the meeting that Trump's suggestion that he intervene with Comey's investigation would be inappropriate. I just can't discuss that. "What you feel isn't the answer". And that's a flawless example where, you know, you want to follow up and say, what about this word directed now?

The conversations with Coats and Rogers took place in the wake of Comey testifying on March 20 that the FBI was investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. He's already released written testimony, as we mentioned. In a May 9 letter informing the Obama appointee that he was being fired, Trump asserted that Comey had told him on three occasions that he was not under investigation. But what specifically does that mean when you say that someone is not a target of a counterintelligence investigation?

Rogers: "I stand by the comments that I've made". But he was not a target of the counterterrorist investigation. "I do mean it in a contentious way".

INSKEEP: So you don't see this as vindication? Coats said in response to a line of questioning from Arizona Sen. "But I don't think we should lose sight of the basic fact that Russian Federation attacked us and that we have to be prepared to respond". That - that's a fact.

"James Comey was all about James Comey", Bondi said. It's quite dramatic, nearly novelistic in the details - describing phone calls and meetings and dinners with the president. But each refused to discuss their conversations with the president.

That may come as a relief to a White House that has been buffeted by a seemingly never-ending stream of controversial revelations, from allegations that the president attempted to influence the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to reports of internal divisions within the administration.

Trump's surrogates may have said earlier this week that the President will not block Comey from testifying by claiming executive privilege.

"That's not my job to make that call". When there are ongoing investigations I think it's in appropriate.

Neil Cavuto pointed out that Trump's request for a private dinner with Comey raised some people's eyebrows, but Bondi said it makes sense that the new president would want to meet with the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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