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U.S. Spy Chief Pushes Back on Trump Over Russia's Election Hack

Chris Strohm
Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. Coats told associates in March that U.S. President Donald Trump had asked him to intervene with then-Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey to get the FBI to back off its focus on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russia probe, the Washington Post reported yesterday.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats pushed back against President Donald Trump’s refusal at a summit with Russia’s president to accept the finding of American intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election.

“The role of the Intelligence Community is to provide the best information and fact-based assessments possible for the president and policymakers,” Coats said in a emailed statement Monday. “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security.”

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Coats responded hours after Trump, standing alongside Putin in Helsinki, said that “my people” including Coats, “came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia.”

“I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Trump said. “I have confidence in both parties.”

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Read U.S. Spy Chief Pushes Back on Trump Over Russia's Election Hack on bloombergpolitics.com