- Coats and Rogers said interactions with Trump about the Russia investigation were odd, uncomfortable
- The two also met individually with the Senate intelligence committee in two closed briefings
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers described their interactions with the President about the Russia investigation as odd and uncomfortable, but said they did not believe the President gave them orders to interfere, according to multiple sources familiar with their accounts.
Sources say both men went further than they did in June 7 public hearings, when they provided little detail about the interactions.
The sources gave CNN the first glimpse of what the intelligence chiefs said to Mueller's investigators when they did separate interviews last week. Both men told Mueller's team they were surprised the President would suggest that they publicly declare he was not involved in collusion, sources said. Mueller's team, which is in the early stages of its investigation, will ultimately decide whether the interactions are relevant to the inquiry.
Coats and Rogers also met individually last week with the Senate intelligence committee in two closed briefings that were described to CNN by Democratic and Republican congressional sources. One source said that Trump wanted them to say publicly what then-FBI Director James Comey had told the President privately: that he was not under investigation for collusion. However, sources said that neither Coats nor Rogers raised concerns that Trump was pushing them to do something they did not want to do. They did not act on the President's alleged suggestion.
Trump has said repeatedly that no collusion occurred. "After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my 'collusion with the Russians,' nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!" he tweeted June 16. The White House did not comment for this story. The DNI, NSA and Mueller's office also did not comment.