Two top intelligence officials privately told special prosecutor Robert Mueller last week that President Trump urged them to say there had been no collusion between his campaign and Russia, CNN reported Thursday.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Chief Administrator Mike Rogers told Mueller that Trump had suggested to them, in separate, private discussions, that they make public statements that there had been no collusion, but that he did not explicitly order or ask them to do so, sources told the network.
According to the sources, Coats and Rogers felt Trump’s conversations with them were “odd” but did not constitute orders. Neither man ever made such a public statement.
The two men were interviewed separately last week by investigators working for Mueller, who took over the federal investigation into whether any Trump associates coordinated with Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 race, following Trump’s termination of former FBI Director James Comey last month.
During a June 7 public Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, both Coats and Rogers avoided directly answering questions about what Trump had discussed with them.
Trump, meanwhile has insisted that none of his associates colluded with Russia and that the ongoing federal probe was a distraction concocted by Democrats — a claim he reiterated on Twitter on Thursday morning.
“Former Homeland Security Advisor Jeh Johnson is latest top intelligence official to state there was no grand scheme between Trump & Russia,” Trump tweeted. “By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn’t they stop them?”
“Why did Democratic National Committee turn down the DHS offer to protect against hacks (long prior to election). It’s all a big Dem HOAX!” he wrote. “Why did the DNC REFUSE to turn over its Server to the FBI, and still hasn’t? It’s all a big Dem scam and excuse for losing the election!”