Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was asked by President Trump to step in and persuade then-FBI Director James Comey to lay off his investigation of former national security adviser Mike Flynn, according to a report Tuesday.
Trump discussed the matter with Coats in late March, less than a week after being confirmed by the Senate, unnamed officials told The Washington Post. Trump asked Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo to remain in the room following a meeting and then expressed his dismay with Comey and how he was running his agency's investigation into Russian meddling.
Coats decided to ignore the president's request, the report said.
Two days prior, Comey confirmed to lawmakers in a congressional hearing that the FBI was looking at whether Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians.
Trump later called Coats, asking him to have DNI issue a statement claiming there was no evidence of ties between Trump and Russia. Coats denied this request too. Trump reportedly also asked National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers to publicly dismiss the FBI's Russia probe, which got turned down.
Coats will testify Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is running its own investigation into Russia.
According to a Comey memo revealed in a New York Times report last month, Trump had also asked Comey directly to back away from investigating Flynn. Flynn was fired after it was revealed that he misled the Trump administration about his communications with a Russian envoy.