U.S. President Donald Trump raised the firing of his Federal Bureau of Investigation director in a meeting with Russia's foreign minister to explain why he had been unable to find areas of cooperation with Moscow, the White House national security adviser said on Sunday.
Both Coats and Rogers were uncomfortable with the nature of the President's request and refused to comply, the sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN.
Trump has repeatedly blasted the FBI investigation and has called the idea that anyone on his campaign colluded with Russian Federation - which the US intelligence community has concluded did meddle in the 2016 elections - a "hoax" and has blasted it as a "witch hunt".
On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to testify before a House subcommittee on commerce and justice about the DOJ's budget, and members of the committee will be able to ask questions on other topics.
Saudis see all 'on board' to extend oil cuts
James Woods, analyst at Australia's Rivkin Securities, said that a deeper cut may be required to rein in oversupply. Brent crude futures were up 32 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last close at $53.93 per barrel at 0643 GMT.
The New York Times, citing officials familiar with an internal White House summary of the meeting, reported that Trump referred to Comey as a "nut job" and said his removal would relieve "great pressure" coming from the agency's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But in that case, the White House effort was created to refute news accounts, not the testimony of a sitting FBI director who was leading an open investigation.
With this latest report, evidence mounts that the president himself has repeatedly taken steps to stop or interfere with an ongoing investigation into his close affiliates and their ties to Russian officials. The officials said the White House appeared uncertain about its power to influence the FBI."Can we ask him to shut down the investigation?"
"The problem wasn't so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation", a former senior intelligence official said of the request to Coats. As I've said before, no single piece of evidence has thus far been conclusive (and each piece is vulnerable to its own rebuttals), but the evidence taken together is starting to build a case that looks an terrible lot like this: First, Trump - frustrated at the FBI's investigation - strongly hinted to James Comey that he should clear Michael Flynn.
Trump made his appeal to Coats days after Comey's testimony, according to officials.
Macron tries to sell plan to reform France's labor market
Laurent Berger, the general secretary of the CFDT union, said Macron seemed "determined. but at the same time receptive". But Macron was also reminded of French businesses' pressing demands for a more flexible labor market.
Perhaps investigators actually will find secret and/or illegal collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian officials.
In Nixon's case, what crossed the line, moving top leaders from his own party to go to the White House and tell Nixon that his presidency was over, was Nixon's attempt to hamper the FBI's investigation into Watergate.
Both Coats and Rogers are set to testify before Congress on Tuesday in previously scheduled hearings - Coats, a former Indiana GOP senator, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Rogers before the House Armed Services Committee.
On the same program, Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House panel, called on Chaffetz to subpoena the White House for documents related to the committee's probe into Comey's firing.
'And so, I am really concerned about these kind of leaks, because it undermines everybody's trust in that kind of an environment where you can have frank, candid, and often times unconventional conversations to try to protect American interests and secure the American people, ' McMaster explained.
'I never mentioned the word or the name Israel' to Russians
And it leaves open a slew of questions that Trump may be pressed to address while he is in Israel and in the West Bank . Israel regards Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians have staked claim to the eastern part as their capital.