WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Donald Trump asked two top US intelligence officials in March to help push back against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe into his campaign’s possible links with Russia, The Washington Post reported on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).
In the newest report suggesting the White House sought to tamp down the Russia probe, the Post said Trump urged National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers and to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to publicly deny any evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia during last year’s presidential election.
Citing current and former intelligence officials, the Post said both Rogers and Coats, who was appointed by Trump, did not comply with his request.
The president made the request after then FBI director James Comey revealed that the agency had been investigating Russian interference into the election since July 2016.
Last week, US media reported that Trump had pressed Comey himself in meetings and phone calls to pull back on the investigation. The White House has denied that Trump pressured Comey in any way.
But the FBI director, who Trump fired two weeks ago, wrote detailed memos on his discussions with the president that were cited in the media reports.
In February, Trump asked several senior congressmen and intelligence officials to contact journalists and tell them there was no evidence to support the allegations of campaign links to Russia.