Society

Memo: Trump Asked NSA To Clear Him Of Russia Collusion

| by Robert Fowler

An internal National Security Agency memo alleged that President Donald Trump had pressured the agency to publicly absolve his campaign of any collusion with the Russian government to subvert the 2016 election. The memo's existence was disclosed amid reports that Trump is being investigated for obstruction of justice.

On June 14, it was disclosed that the federal probe into the Russian government's role during the election had expanded to include whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice in his dealings with and firing of former FBI Director James Comey, The Washington Post reports.

On June 15, The Wall Street Journal learned from an anonymous official familiar with the investigation that there existed an NSA memo detailing Trump's request that the agency publicly announce that there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russian intelligence, Newsweek reports.

Retired NSA deputy Director Rick Ledgett reportedly wrote the memo in March, shortly before he left the agency.

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The document reportedly detailed a phone conversation where Trump blasted the U.S. intelligence community's consensus that Russia meddled in the election and asked the agency to refute any suspicion that his campaign was involved. The document would potentially substantiate a previous report that Trump had pressured both the NSA and the intelligence community to drop the Russia inquiry.

On March 20, Comey confirmed during testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI was probing potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.

On May 22, The Washington Post reported that Trump personally called National Intelligence Director Daniel Coats and NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers shortly after Comey's testimony to request that they publicly announce that there was no evidence of collusion.

Both Coats and Rogers reportedly refused to comply because they thought such an announcement would be ethically inappropriate.

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On June 7, Coats and Rogers testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Both agency officials denied that they ever felt pressured to disrupt the Russia probe.

Rogers stated "I have never been directed to do anything I believed to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate… I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so."

On June 14, it was disclosed that Mueller had requested interviews with Coats, Rogers and Ledgett as a part of the probe into whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice, The New York Times reports.

The NSA released a statement confirming that the agency planned to "fully cooperate with the special counsel."

On June 15, Trump took to social media to blast the federal probe into his conduct as "the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history -- led by some very bad and conflicted people!"

Sources: The New York TimesNewsweek, The Washington Post (2) / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Based on what is publicly known, is their sufficient evidence Trump obstructed justice?
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