Democrats furious at evasive answers at hearing

Marsha Scott
June 11, 2017

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the intelligence committee, asked Coats and Rogers about reports that Trump tried to pressure government officials to either interfere with an FBI investigation or push back on claims by former FBI Director James Comey that the bureau was investigating possible collaboration between Russian Federation and Trump.

Key US intelligence figures, including Coats, Acting FBI director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, are testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

After a briefing at the White House attended by officials from several government agencies, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, according to the Post.

He added: "I have never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way ... in an ongoing investigation".

"Why are you not answering the questions?"

Making it clear that he would not indicate which scenario was the real one, the official said that in both cases the intelligence officials had reason to stay quiet today. The probe is now being led by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, following Trump's May 9 firing of Comey. 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.

However on Wednesday, multiple Republicans on the committee grew frustrated when the intelligence officials would not answer their simple yes or no questions about whether the bevy of media reports on their interactions with Trump were true.

KING: What is classified about a conversation involving whether or not you should intervene in the FBI investigation?

"I'm not sure I have a legal basis, but I am more than willing to sit before this a closed session and answer your questions", Coats said.

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On Thursday, James Comey shall testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The president then started complaining about the FBI investigation and Comey's handling of it, said officials familiar with the account Coats gave to associates.

King shot back, "Then why are you not answering the questions?"

After confirming that the president had not invoked executive privilege to prevent Rogers and Coats from discussing the matter, King again demanded that they "answer the questions".

For contrast, take House Speaker Paul D. Ryan's, R-Wis., answer Wednesday to the same question posed by a reporter: "Has the president ever asked you to weigh in publicly on his behalf on some of the Russian Federation allegations?"

Warner told Rogers the committee had "facts that there were other individuals" who were aware of his conversation with Trump and that a memo had been prepared "because of concerns" about the call.

In an interview on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" following the hearing, Republican Sen.

But both Coats and Rogers worked hard to avoid making any new disclosures on Wednesday.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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