According to the Washington Post, they have several current and former officials confirming this happened. The question, of course, is what kind of push back it was. Was it similar to what Trump said to James Comey where he was doing it with a wink and a nod or was it something more forceful?
Either way, this is serious business, if true:
President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.
Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.
Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.
Trump sought the assistance of Coats and Rogers after FBI Director James B. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 that the FBI was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
Trump’s conversation with Rogers was documented contemporaneously in an internal memo written by a senior NSA official, according to the officials. It is unclear if a similar memo was prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to document Trump’s conversation with Coats. Officials said such memos could be made available to both the special counsel now overseeing the Russia investigation and congressional investigators, who might explore whether Trump sought to impede the FBI’s work.
The White House is neither denying nor confirming the story:
“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.”
Robert Mueller is likely going to want this correspondence.
The question that demands an answer: If there’s no chance there was collusion with Trump campaign operatives and Russian officials during the campaign, why on earth would President Trump say anything about it, let alone try to persuade or influence intelligence and law enforcement officials to close down the investigation?
The news is likely to put a damper on Trump’s overseas trip.