Mueller cleared by U.S. ethics experts to head Russia probe

On Monday night, The Washington Post reported that Trump separately asked Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, to publicly deny that there was any evidence of collusion between his presidential campaign and the Kremlin.

A source tells NBC News Trump asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, to publicly deny any collusion between the then-Republican candidate and Russian Federation to interfere in the 2016 election.

Both Coats and Rogers found Trump's request inappropriate and refused to comply, according to two current and two former US officials.

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.

Coats and Rogers were sufficiently concerned about the requests that one of them wrote a memo about it, the former official told NBC News.

Coats declined to comment during a Senate armed services committee hearing Tuesday, that had been previously scheduled. Sen.Coates and Rogers both deemed the requests to be inappropriate, and both refused to comply. The White House has denied that Mr Trump pressured Mr Comey in any way.

These actions by the President are seen as an attempt to influence the FBI investigation, some intelligence officials see the request as a threat to non-partisan independent security agencies.

Last week, White House aides originally tried to dismiss the conversation in which Donald Trump urged former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey to end his Michael Flynn probe as simply Trump being Trump-that's just the way he speaks, one senior official said.

While President Trump was heralded as a pro-business president, that cause for celebration has been slowed in recent weeks. For now, the reports detailing Trump's interactions with Comey, Coats, and Rogers are all based on anonymous sources.

"The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", Burr said.

He urged them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election. Trump wouldn't be so foolish as to leave a trail pointing to his own involvement with Russian officials or knowledge of underlings' involvement, right?

Mueller should get to the very bottom of allegations swirling around the current occupant of the White House, of course.

Not only was Trump trying to use one part of the intelligence agency against another, he did so knowing that what he was asking the agencies to do was not just interference, but a lie. Had he not done so, the Watergate investigations would have continued even though Nixon had resigned as president.

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