President Donald Trump asked top intelligence officials Daniel Coats and Adm. Michael S. Rogers to publicly deny there was any evidence of possible collusion between Russia and Trump's campaign in the 2016 presidential election, The Washington Post reported.
Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, refused and thought the request was inappropriate, according to four sources who spoke with the Post. Trump's conversation with Rogers was documented in an internal memo.
"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.
Trump made the request in March, a month after he reportedly asked former FBI Director James Comey to stop an investigation into then-national security adviser Mike Flynn, according to The New York Times.
Trump dismissed the FBI and congressional probes as a "witch-hunt" in a tweet last week.
"The White House does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals," a White House spokesperson said. "The president will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people."
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