Published: Fri, March 03, 2017
U.S. | By Vera Richards

Independent commission needed for Russian Federation probe

Independent commission needed for Russian Federation probe

On Monday, Nunes, the man responsible for overseeing the House's probe into the Russian Federation matter, assembled reporters and declared: "The way it sounds to me is it's been looked into and there's no evidence of anything". Mr. Trump has slammed the intelligence agencies for their handling of the investigation and for what he has said were damaging leaks from the probe.

Oklahoma Republican James Lankford echoed King: "I really want the DNI to be able to be tough when it requires being tough and to be clear when it's time to be clear, because the policymakers around you need clarity, need straightforward facts".

Lawmakers voicing concern questioned Coats numerous times about whether President Trump would include the role as a principal member of the National Security Committee.

Not long after, news organizations reported that Trump was considering bringing in a friend, financier Stephen Feinberg, to do a "review" of the intelligence community.

As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not.

Coats is the first DNI nominee not to come from either the professional military, intelligence community or diplomatic service.

If you keep up with the same sources for news and politics that I do, you've most likely encountered the discussion that has arisen because of President Donald Trump's remarks in regard to improved relations with Russian Federation. But that camaraderie was shattered over the weekend after Burr and Nunes called reporters at the White House's request in an effort to debunk reports about ties between the Trump administration and Russian officials.

"The most that we've had are private conversations, the chair and I with intelligence officials".

Jeff Sessions: 'I'm dubious about marijuana'
It is, however, in total contrast to what President Trump said throughout his campaign that it was up to the states to choose . But guidance is not law and could be reversed by the new administration. "I have not read those reports , frankly", he said.

"There continues to be no there, there", said Sean Spicer, the Trump White House spokesman, responding Wednesday to speculation of collusion between Trump campaign surrogates and Russians.

"I have long-supported the House Intelligence Committee's bipartisan investigation into Russia's interference in our election", Lance said.

Coats pledged to extensively cooperate with the congressional probes, saying the Russian Federation question "needs to be investigated and addressed".

Collins was also one of several committee members expressing alarm that Coats might not have a permanent seat on the principals committee of the National Security Council, citing the president's January 28 executive order that appeared to downgrade the director of national intelligence to an as-needed status, while including White House strategist Stephen Bannon in all meetings - an unprecedented addition.

Coats also sought to reassure senators that he will support the workers at the 17 intelligence agencies he would supervise - from the CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation to the National Security Agency and the military's intelligence operations - praising their "immense talent". The panel that investigated the 9/11 attacks was one such commission.

"We can't run a government like this", said Nunes. But under questioning, Coats appeared misinformed about a subsequent modification of the order that give Pompeo a seat. He continued, "We need to know if anyone in the Trump campaign had any direct conversations with someone from Russian Federation". You might as well ask the Kremlin to conduct one.

"I have full confidence that's the way it'll turn out", Coats said.

When pressed on the importance of encryption, Coats said he believed the technology is "important" to protect financial and defense systems, and that there needs to be an "ongoing discussion amongst policymakers about legal authority".

Like this: