U.S. lawmakers press intelligence chiefs on Russian Federation ahead of Comey hearing

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Warner responded that even though Coats and Rogers "may not have felt pressured" by Trump, it's important to know whether the president asked them to interfere or intervene in the Russian Federation investigation or downplay the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation.

Trump's complaints came just days after Comey confirmed in a public hearing before the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI was investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

But that did not satisfy Democrats, who said there was no reason for them not to divulge the details.

"You can clear an very bad lot up by simply saying it never happened", Heinrich later said.

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.

"Well, I think your unwillingness to answer a very basic question speaks volumes", Heinrich said.

National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will also be present at the hearing originally set to discuss a foreign surveillance law.

"Why are you not answering the questions?"

Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the committee, lamented that the witnesses could have laid to rest questions about what the president told them about the Russian Federation probe, but they chose not to answer.

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Its relationship with the United States is also important, although in the era of Donald Trump that more a double-edged sword. Led by pugnacious Euroskeptic David Davis, it also includes Trade Minister Liam Fox and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson .

"Well I do mean that in contentious way", King replied. Angus King, a ME independent who caucuses with the Democrats, blasted Rogers in the middle of his questioning.

At a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Virginia Democrat Mark Warner asked Coats and Rogers about media reports that Trump asked them to intervene regarding the Justice Department investigation surrounding Russian Federation.

The events involving Coats show the president went further than just asking intelligence officials to deny publicly the existence of any evidence showing collusion during the 2016 election, as The Washington Post reported in May.

". Because if you have not had questions waved off with Mr. Mueller, I think, frankly - and I understand your commitment to the administration - but Sen". Even mild-spoken Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, got testy.

"From my perspective with the Department of Justice and McCabe also, our default position is when there's a Justice Department investigation, we do not discuss it publicly", Rosenstein said.

"Is that the rule for the President of the United States as well?" And much of the focus has been on reports alleging that President Trump tried to use the intelligence services to squash that Russian Federation investigation. "Why would it not be appropriate for you to share that conversation with us?" Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat. Kamala Harris' questioning of Rosenstein, Sens.

At the close of the hearing, the Republican committee chairman, Sen. Susan Collins joined her Democratic colleagues taking issue with the lack of answers from Coats and Rogers.

Coats and Rogers testified on the first of two days of hearings focused on Trump's efforts to curb the investigation of what he says is a "witch hunt" aimed at undermining the legitimacy of his upset victory in the November election, an excuse he says opposition Democrats are using to account for his defeat of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "If the special counsel Bob Mueller had put constraints on them, or if the President had made the mistake of asserting executive privilege, then I would've understood their failure to respond".