Obama Officials Reportedly Left a Trail to Preserve Intel of Russian Hacking
- Author: Megan Austin Mar 03, 2017,
Mar 03, 2017, 0:54
White House lawyers have instructed US President Donald Trump's aides to preserve materials that could be connected to Russian interference in the 2016 election and other related investigations, three administration officials said Wednesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, Nunes told Fox News that the committee would receive a briefing from intelligence officials on Thursday.
USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation sought to influence the presidential election to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
But Coats said he thinks it is worth discussing what might happen in a situation where an attack is imminent and there is no time for the intelligence community to follow the process.
On February 13, then US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn announced his resignation after media reports, based on leaked information, that he had misled the Trump administration about the extent of his talks with Russian officials.
Warner further requested Coats promise to "fully and completely cooperate" with the committee's investigation into Kremlin-orchestrated hacking and attempted interference in the US election, including providing "all requested intelligence community cables, intelligence products and other materials to the committee as promptly as possible".
American intelligence agencies and European allies had provided the Obama White House "damning" information that showed meetings taking place between Russian officials, and others close to President Vladimir Putin, and associates of Trump, according to the Times.
Senator Angus King described Coats as affable, cautioning that he would have to be "crusty and mean" and asking him to be "hard" in reporting to a president who may not always want to hear what he has to say.
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Coats also said Russian Federation continues to run the same playbook in political races taking place today in Europe, including France and Germany, and he suggested there need to be "consequences". He visited the country in 2013.
President Trump has been dogged by questions about his advisers' ties to Russian Federation since the campaign.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, shook his head and said "no" when asked if he agreed with having a special prosecutor.
As a popular former member of the Intelligence Committee, approval of his appointment seemed assured amid easy questioning Tuesday by both Democrats and Republicans. "It's been looked into, and there's no evidence of anything there", he told reporters Monday.
"There continues to be no there, there", Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, said.
The Obama administration also tried to spread the information outside of the executive branch of government, passing along some intelligence to members of Congress.
Let's just establish that talking to Russia's ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, or anyone else at the Russian Embassy is not inherently problematic.
The measures, taken during the last days of Obama's presidency, marked a new post-Cold War low in U.S. Just last week, it was even reported that the administration took the unprecedented step of reaching out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and essentially begging the agency to shoot down media reports linking Trump's presidential campaign to Moscow.