President Donald Trump reportedly asked his top intelligence official in March to get former FBI chief James Comey to ease off on a probe into fired national security advisor Mike Flynn, the Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing officials familiar with the version of events Coats told associates.
Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and CIA Chief Mike Pompeo were asked by Trump to stay behind following a briefing in the White House, the report said. Trump then complained about Comey's handling of the FBI probe into whether Trump's campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 race, the report said.
Coats reportedly opted not to become involved because he believed it would be inappropriate, the report said, citing sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
A spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment on whether Trump asked Coats to become involved in the FBI investigation, according to the Washington Post, but did say "Director Coats does not discuss his private conversations with the president. However, he has never felt pressured by the president or anyone else in the administration to influence any intelligence matters or ongoing investigations."
A spokesman for Pompeo, declined to comment to the Post, and the White House pointed to outside lawyers for the newspaper.