Intelligence Chiefs Won't Discuss Private Conversations With Trump In Open Hearing
Intelligence Chiefs Won't Discuss Private Conversations With Trump In Open Hearing
John McCain Is…Very Strange Today
11 June, 2017, 10:26
Two US intelligence agency chiefs said they have never felt pressured from President Donald Trump's administration to intervene in investigations into Russian meddling into the US election, apparently contradicting news reports that the President had previously asked them to downplay the probe.
The lawmakers were to hear testimony from Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers and Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on the status of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Rogers said he was yet to receive a definitive answer. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Coats said that if asked, he would provide details of his conversations with Trump to Mueller.
"You're asking me... [to] comment on the integrity of the Washington Post's reporting?" Rogers said he hoped he would be able to answer the senators' questions during a classified briefing in the future.
King then asked Coats and Rogers whether they would commit to answering the questions in a closed session. I said it was a paradox: Throughout history, some Presidents have decided that because "problems" come from Justice, they should try to hold the Department close. "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".
Coats reiterated a statement he made to The Post earlier in the hearing that he did not believe it was appropriate to publicly discuss private conversations he had with Trump. King said he found Comey to be credible and honest, but he feels the focus cannot stray from the real problem - which is Russia's interference with the 2016 election.
Almost two hours into the hearing, Sen.
On Tuesday, Entous reported that Coats told associates the president asked him if he could intervene in then-FBI Director James B. Comey's investigation into Russian Federation. John McCain and Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr both spoke up to tell her to give the witnesses a chance to answer her questions. And you can't get to the facts if the witnesses won't answer the questions.
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Executive privilege allows the president and his advisers to withhold information from the legislative and judicial branches in certain cases. Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, asked each intelligence official to take a message back to the administration - that they can not hide things from the Senate Intelligence Committee, and are required to be fully forthcoming.
"There was no assertion of executive privilege, and thus I don't understand why these individuals did not answer all of our questions today", Collins said. I'm quite sure it's the latter.
"I do not share with the general public conversations that I have with the President or many of my colleagues within the administration that I believe should not be shared", Coats repeated.
Nowhere in Wednesday's hours-long testimony did Coats or Rogers deny the president asked them to intervene; they simply refused to talk about it.
The Washington Post reported on May 22 that Trump had asked the officials to help push back against the FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and Moscow, citing current and former officials. Angus King, I-Maine, he could not specify what was classified about the conversation. "The question is why are you not answering the question?"
"But I am more than willing to sit before this committee in its investigative process in closed session and answer your questions", he continued.
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