Intelligence chief refuses to comment on Russia ties

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The Director of National Intelligence has told a Senate committee that he cannot publicly comment on whether Donald Trump asked him to push back against an investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign advisers and Russia. reports citing Independent.

According to reports, Mr Trump asked Dan Coats and Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, to publicly deny the existence of any evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russian operatives to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Coats and Rogers declined to comply with the President’s requests “which they both deemed to be inappropriate.”

During a hearing before the Senate Armed Forces committee, Republican Senator and committee chairman John McCain asked Mr Coats if the report - originally from The Washington Post - “was an accurate reporting?”

Mr Coats, who was appointed by Mr Trump, responded that it would be inappropriate for him to comment publicly on the topic.

“As the president’s principal intelligence adviser, I’m fortunate to be able to spend a significant amount of time with the President discussing national security interests and intelligence as it relates to those interests,” Mr Coats said.

“I have always believed that given the nature of my position and the information which we share, it’s not appropriate for me to comment publicly on any of that,” he added. “So on this topic as well as other topics, I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterise the discussions and the conversations with the President.”

Mr Coats later said that the Russia probes – which are being conducted by a special prosecutor, as well as by committees in the Senate and House of Representatives – “are in place to get us to the right conclusion so we can move on”.

2017.05.25 / 11:24
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