Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the intelligence committee, asked Coats and Rogers about reports that Trump tried to pressure government officials to either interfere with an FBI investigation or push back on claims by former FBI Director James Comey that the bureau was investigating possible collaboration between Russian Federation and Trump.
But today, before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Coats refused to give details about his conversations with the president, saying, "I do not feel that it's appropriate for me to, in a public session, in which confidential conversations between the president and myself - I don't believe it's appropriate to address that in a public session". The Post last month reported Trump had appealed to Rogers, if he could, to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the second-ranking official at the Department of Justice who signed a letter recommending Comey's dismissal, also testified on Wednesday, as did acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who took over after Comey was sacked.
The members of the Senate Intelligence Committee had one question they asked again and again Wednesday of the country's intelligence chiefs: Did President Trump want you to downplay investigations surrounding Russian Federation?
"I have never been pressured, never felt pressured, to intervene or interfere in any way, with shaping intelligence", he said. Rogers said he was yet to receive a definitive answer. "I served on the committee here and often saw that information that had been discussed had been reported but that wasn't always accurate", Coats told McCain.
ROGERS: I stand by the comments I've made.
"We have a special counsel who is investigating", Rosenstein said, when asked about a memo he had written that the White House held up as justification for Comey's May 9 firing.
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Sessions remains at the Justice Department, where a spokeswoman told CNN that he is not stepping down. The ban and a second version written to better withstand legal scrutiny have been held up in court.
Mr. Coats said he would not discuss in open session about his conversations with President Trump.
Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, tried to push back on that argument, asking whether Mueller has told the witnesses they should not testify.
The Post report went into a detailed account of Trump pulling Coats aside after a March 22 briefing at the White House and complaining about Comey's handling of the probe.
"Not that I'm aware of -- because I feel it's inappropriate", Rogers said.
King concluded by scolding them once again for "inappropriately refusing to answer" the committee's questions.
Angus King repeatedly asked Rogers and Coats what was the legal basis for their refusal to answer questions.
"At no time should you be in a position where you come to Congress without an answer", Burr warned them. In that case, the White House would have to make a decision: Should Trump assert executive privilege over the conversations, or let his intelligence community testify openly about their conversations with him?