by Itunuoluwa Adebo
New information leaked from current and former White House officials say President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to stop the FBI investigation into a likely collusion between Russia and his campaign, Washington Post reports.
President Trump is said to have approached the Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, and Adm. Michael Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency separately, appealing to them to issue public statements denying a possible collusion with Russia during the election.
Citing anonymous sources, the Post reported both Directors declined his request. The shortly after former FBI director James Comey announced the investigation into any links between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
The communication between Trump and Rogers was documented in an internal memo written by a senior NSA official, while the Office of the Director of National Intelligence isn’t clear if such documentation exists.
President Trump who is currently on a trip abroad has maintained his statement that there was no collusion.
These actions by the President are seen as an attempt to influence the FBI investigation, some intelligence officials see the request as a threat to non-partisan independent security agencies.
“The problem wasn’t so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation,” a former senior intelligence official said of the request to Coats.
A spokesman for the White House said, “The White House does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals, the president will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people.”