Trump calls Comey a leaker, claims complete vindication

Geneva Matthews
June 11, 2017

King said the next steps in the Senate's Russian Federation investigation include questioning Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior advisor of President Donald Trump; Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort; his longtime confidante, Roger Stone; and attempting to speak with Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser. "If it receives one, it will do its best to work with the committee to accommodate the request to the fullest extent possible consistent with these interests", she said. Coats said he would first ask White House counsel to say whether it intends to invoke executive privilege-despite the fact that, according to the officials, it has not yet done so.

ROGERS: I stand by the comments I've made.

ANGUS KING: Why are you not answering our questions?

Coats said he didn't have a specific legal justification for declining to answer such questions, but suggested he might be able to do so in the classified, closed briefing later in the day. They include the director of national intelligence, the head of the National Security Agency, the acting director of the FBI and the top Justice Department official overseeing the investigation of Russian interference in last year's presidential election.

COATS: I think the investigations will determine that.

Rogers answered that he "feel [s] it's inappropriate" to reveal details of his private conversations with the president and with Comey in an open hearing.

Coats: "In my time of service, which is interacting with the president of the United States, or anybody in this administration, I have never been pressured".

In an interview on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" following the hearing, Republican Sen. But a report in The Washington Post that Trump went further than just asking Coats to rebut former FBI Director James Comey in public increases the intrigue. But even Burr, who helped advise the Trump transition team, admonished the panel that they can't simply avoid answering at all. They filibustered, claimed they didn't like the public forum and noted that they felt that answering certain questions was inappropriate.

Kasowitz labeled Comey "one of these leakers" who are "actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications".

"What is the legal basis for your refusal to testify to this committee?" asked Sen.

Sen. Angus King of ME, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, picked up on Heinrich's questions, demanding a "legal justification" for why Rogers and Coats were not answering questions. Asked if he would be forthcoming in such a setting, Coats said he meant to, but did not know yet whether the White House would block such discussion by asserting that executive privilege covers his conversations with the president. What you feel is not the answer.

King was in full fuss-fight mode and shot back, equally snarky: "Well, I do mean it in a contentious way".

COATS: It's a matter of how I share it and whom I share it to (unintelligible) involved in that. Rubio pointedly asked, "Are you prepared to say that you have never been asked by the president or the White House to influence an ongoing investigation?"

"Director Coats, you've said as well that it would be inappropriate to answer a simple question about whether the President asked for your assistance in blunting the Russian investigation", said Sen.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Coats told associates Trump asked him to intervene with Comey in March.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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