(CNN)Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declined to comment Tuesday on the report that President Donald Trump asked him to publicly deny evidence of cooperation between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election
Coats not commenting on report Trump asked him to deny evidence of Russia collusion
"I don't feel it's appropriate to characterize discussions and conversations with the President," Coats told the Senate armed services committee in response to a question about the allegations from Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
But Coats did say that politicizing intelligence was inappropriate — and that he'd made that position clear to the Trump administration.
Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the panel, asked Coats hypothetically whether it would be appropriate if a president reached out to a director of national intelligence to make a request to deny evidence of cooperation.
"I made clear in my confirmation hearing for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, my role and the role of the director of national intelligence is to provide intelligence information relevant to policy makers so they can base their judgments on that," Coats said. "Any political shaping of that presentation for intelligence would not be appropriate. I have made my position clear on that to this administration and I intend to maintain that position."