According to a new report, two top intelligence officials told investigators that President Donald Trump requested they publicly deny collusion between his campaign and Russia.
They do not, however, believe that Trump “gave them orders to interfere,” CNN reports.
The two intelligence officers are Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers.
Details of their conversations with investigators last week were leaked by unnamed sources to CNN, who reported on them this morning. Both men had separate conversations, where they appeared to confirm the same details.
The CNN report states that both men “described their interactions with the President about the Russia investigation as odd and uncomfortable, but said they did not believe the President gave them orders to interfere, according to multiple sources familiar with their accounts.”
“One source said that Trump wanted them to say publicly what then-FBI Director James Comey had told the President privately: that he was not under investigation for collusion. However, sources said that neither Coats nor Rogers raised concerns that Trump was pushing them to do something they did not want to do. They did not act on the President’s alleged suggestion,” the article also says.
These new details seem to confirm what both men said in their Senate committee hearings — that they hadn’t been directed to interfere with an investigation or do anything inappropriate or illegal.
They also fit a pattern of Donald Trump’s reported behavior toward the Russia investigation — frustrated and eager to put it behind him.
Robert Mueller is the special counsel tapped by the Department of Justice to investigate Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May.