President Trump reportedly asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to intervene in former FBI Director James Comey’s probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
According to a report by The Washington Post Tuesday, Trump asked Coats about interfering in the FBI’s investigation of potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia less than a week after being confirmed by the Senate in March.
Trump reportedly made the request during a briefing at the White House with several government agencies. According to the Post’s report, Trump asked everyone to leave the room toward the end of the briefing except for Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Officials familiar with the incident told the Post that the president then expressed his grievances with the FBI’s investigation and Comey’s handling of it, asking Coats to take action and interfere.
Coats reportedly discussed the situation with other officials and ultimately decided Trump’s request was inappropriate. Trump’s request was made shortly after Comey publicly confirmed that the FBI was investigating possible Trump campaign connections to Russia.
Trump abruptly fired Comey in May, citing his handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation and a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Trump later said he was going to fire Comey regardless of the memo.
Coats is expected to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, and Comey is expected to testify before the committee on Thursday.