Coats again stayed mum Wednesday when he was asked by Sen. In your experience, would it be in any way typical for a president to ask questions or bring up an ongoing FBI investigation, particularly if that investigation involves associates and individuals that might be associated with the president's campaign or his activities?
Members of the Senate intelligence committee wanted to know about news reports claiming Trump had asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Adm. Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, to publicly state that there was no evidence of collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.
Coats: I do not share with the general public conversation I had with the president or many of my colleagues within the administration that I believe should not be shared. Rogers referred to earlier statements he made saying he wouldn't comment on conversations with the President.
Former FBI director James Comey has accused US President Donald Trump of trying to get him to water down the bureau's investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
Warner said he was "disappointed" with the officials' answers. A follow-up session behind closed doors is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. "I do not recall feeling pressured to do so".
Four top intelligence officials are fielding questions Wednesday on whether Trump intervened into the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the USA elections, the latest development in a tumultuous 24 hours.
The Republican chairman off the Senate intelligence committee, Sen.
"If any of this is true, it would be an appalling and improper use of our intelligence professionals - an act that could erode the public's confidence in our intelligence institutions", ranking Democrat on the committee, Sen. But the top Democrat on the committee, Mark Warner, said, you're all very relevant to this ongoing investigation we're doing, and while you are here, I'm going to ask about that. "The (intelligence community) fiercely prides itself on its apolitical service to the country". Following his firing, leaks detailing the information now corroborated by Mr Comey's testimony began to trickle out, leading to outrage in Washington and concerns that Mr Trump's actions constituted obstruction of justice - potentially an impeachable offence. Eric Trump said the allegation that his father's campaign colluded with Russian Federation is "the greatest hoax of all time".
Coats was responding to a senator's question about whether Trump pressured him to publicly downplay the significance of the FBI's investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
After the encounter, Coats discussed the conversation with other officials and decided that intervening with Comey as Trump had suggested would be inappropriate, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal matters.
Coats, however, denied to the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday morning that he ever "felt pressured to intervene in the Russian Federation investigation in any way". And here's a blow-by-blow transcript of how it went down starting with Heinrich questioning Acting FBI Director McCabe. Trump announced his long awaited decision for his nominee to be the permanent replacement - Christopher A. Wray - in a Tweet Wednesday morning.