WATCH | Circa's Sara Carter discusses the Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing with Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coates, and talks about the use and potential renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's (FISA) Section 702.
A spokesperson for the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement to Circa that Director Coats "has never felt pressured by the President," when asked about a Tuesday night report published by the Washington Post. In the report, the Post said that Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats allegedly told associates in March that President Trump had asked him to intervene with ex-FBI director James Comey to get the bureau to back its focus off of former NSA adviser Michael Flynn.
Brian P. Hall, the spokesperson for the DNI, issued the following statement:
The full statement read, “Director Coats does not discuss his private conversations with the President. However, he has never felt pressured by the President or anyone else in the Administration to influence any intelligence matters or ongoing investigations.”
According to the Post, Coats attended a briefing at the White House together with officials from multiple several government agencies in late March. As the briefing concluded, Trump reportedly asked everyone to leave the room except for Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
The 45th commander-in-chief started complaining about the FBI investigation and Comey's handling of it. This was two days after Comey had confirmed in a congressional hearing that the agency was investigating whether Trump's campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
As the Washington Post continued, Coats discussed the conversation with other officials and decided that intervening as Trump had suggested would be inappropriate.
Coats is expected to testify Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee where officials are likely to grill him for information about his interactions with the president concerning the FBI investigation.