USA spy chiefs are ducking questions about Trump and Russian Federation

Democrats furious at evasive answers at hearing

According to The Washington Post, Trump pressed two of his top intelligence directors to argue that the FBI was not investigating ties between his campaign and Russian officials - one day after Comey revealed the investigation in public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

Sen. Angus King of ME grilled two of the top USA intelligence officials Wednesday on their refusal to answer questions about their conversations with President Donald Trump during a committee hearing.

Should Republicans not take these steps, the conclusion should be obvious: They are acting to protect the president from public embarrassment. McCabe refused to discuss any conversations he'd had with Comey regarding Comey's discussions with Trump.

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who took over after Comey was sacked, will also be at the hearing.

The juxtaposition between Comey's gripping account and the Trump officials' refusal to answer questions did no credit to the embattled president.

1. Did Trump pressure Coats and Rogers to dismiss concerns about Russian Federation? This frustrated several members of the committee. Neither would directly answer that query.

Mr. Coats said he would not discuss in open session about his conversations with President Trump. Hale said in a statement: "Director Coats does not discuss his private conversations with the President".

"The chair is going to exercise the right to allow the witnesses to answer the question", Burr said after cutting off Harris' questions. Mark R. Warner's (D-Va) question of whether Trump sought his aid in downplaying the investigation.

At Wednesday's hearing, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers also said in his three-plus years as head of the NSA, he had never been directed to do anything he believed to be "illegal, immoral, or inappropriate" or felt pressured to do anything.

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Almost two hours into the hearing, Sen. "Have you ever been asked to say something that isn't true?".

Rogers: "Because I feel it is inappropriate, Senator". King said he found Comey to be credible and honest, but he feels the focus cannot stray from the real problem - which is Russia's interference with the 2016 election. What you feel is not the answer. Rogers refused to directly answer the question or comment upon his conversations with Trump. I'm not interested in repeating myself, sir, and I don't mean that in a contentious way. Angus King, I-Maine, he could not specify what was classified about the conversation. Rogers said he hoped he would be able to answer the senators' questions during a classified briefing in the future.

"Sir, I stand by my previous comments", Rogers responded.

Rogers also refused to answer Warner's questions about his conversations with Trump about the Russian Federation investigation.

Testifying with Trump administration colleagues Wednesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Coats read aloud from his written testimony about "herculean" efforts made by the National Security Agency.

"I'm not sure I have a legal basis", Coats said.

Angus King, a ME independent who caucuses with the Democrats, blasted Rogers in the middle of his questioning.

Comey's Thursday testimony in perhaps the most anticipated since Hillary Clinton's 11-hour Benghazi hearing in 2015.

Four top intelligence officials are fielding questions Wednesday on whether Trump intervened into the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the United States elections, the latest development in a tumultuous 24 hours.

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