Democrats furious at evasive answers at hearing

Cheryl Sanders
June 9, 2017

Repeatedly, the heads of USA intelligence agencies were asked by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee whether President Donald Trump tried to influence their investigations into the Trump campaign's alleged ties to the Russian government.

Coats also responded to one question about the reports by saying he would answer questions during a closed hearing.

Former FBI Director James Comey is expected to tell a U.S. Senate committee today that President Donald Trump demanded his "loyalty" and asked him to let fired national security adviser Michael Flynn off the hook in connection with the FBI's investigations into the Russian government and Trump's presidential campaign. At another point Coats said he would not publicly discuss his private conversations with the president.

"I think if the president inappropriately tried to interfere with any type of investigation that he should be held accountable for that", Stewart said on CNN's "New Day".

Coats used almost identical language last month to skirt questions from the Senate Armed Forces about a Post report that he and Rogers were asked by Trump to publicly deny evidence of cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Mark Warrren, the ranking Democrat on the panel, to clear up the allegations that Trump asked him to help derail the investigation, Coats said he doesn't believe it's "appropriate for me to address" discussions he had with the president in "a public session". "I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so".

"However, he has never felt pressured by the President or anyone else in the Administration to influence any intelligence matters or ongoing investigations", Hale said in a statement.

"One message I hope all Americans will take home is recognizing how significant Russian interference in our election was", Warner said.

The Republican National Committee is planning an aggressive counter effort against Comey's testimony.

Rosenstein's public testimony will be the first since he appointed - in the face of rising pressure from Congress - former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel investigating possible links between Russian Federation and the election.

The former FBI director will also tell lawmakers that he informed Trump that he was not personally under investigation.

However, the hearing offered relatively little new information, and shortly after it ended at midday, it was overtaken by the release of a statement by James Comey, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director who was sacked by Trump on May 9.

Comey claims Trump asked him in February to make the Flynn probe go away. It's actually about a really important law overseeing foreign intelligence surveillance and what happens when Americans are swept up in that, which is something we've heard a lot about. Trump complained that the probe had created a "cloud" over his presidency.

The issue was triggered by comments Mr Comey made while testifying on Capitol Hill before the Senate Intelligence Committee. But then Marco Rubio - Republican from Florida and, of course, one-time presidential candidate - pointed out that this was a little subjective, and he said, we're not asking for classified information.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it's standard practice for executive branch officials, such as the ones who testified, to decline to discuss conversations with the president.

Other reports by iNewsToday