22:38 GMT +324 September 2017
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    Dan Coats testifies before the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee on his nomination to be the next director of national intelligence in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

    Coats Refuses to Comment on Reports Trump Asked Him to Push Back on Russia Probe

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    US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats refused to comment during a Senate hearing on Tuesday about the validity of recent media reports that claim President Donald Trump asked him to push back against stories about the investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Monday, the Washington Post claimed citing unnamed sources that Trump approached Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers separately asking them to deny any evidence of the Trump campaign's reported collusion with Russia.

    "I have always believed that given the nature of my position and the information in which we [Trump, Coats] share, it’s not appropriate for me to comment publicly on any of that, so on this topic as well as other topics I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterize discussions," Coats told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    Neither Coats nor Rogers complied with the request, media reports noted.

    Trump has denied allegations that he colluded with the Russian government to affect the US election, and Russian officials have repeatedly called the allegations absurd and stated that Moscow had no intention to meddle in the November 8 election or the country’s domestic affairs.

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