Trump intelligence nominee sees Russia, China, North Korea as main threats

The New York Times is reporting that some officials from President Barack Obama's administration made efforts to make information about possible links between Donald Trump's campaign and Russian officials easier for future investigators to find.

On Tuesday, White House lawyers instructed Trump's staff to preserve intelligence related to Russia's interference with the 2016 election and other relevant investigations, the Associated Press reported.

The acrimony reached new heights last month when Mr. Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had to step down after revelations of his contacts with Russia's Washington ambassador just as the Obama administration was leveling sanctions against Russian officials over the election meddling allegations.

Warner further requested Coats promise to "fully and completely cooperate" with the committee's investigation into Kremlin-orchestrated hacking and attempted interference in the US election, including providing "all requested intelligence community cables, intelligence products and other materials to the committee as promptly as possible".

Consider Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and head of the House investigation into Russian Federation.

Mr Trump has denied having any knowledge that aides were in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, and such denials prompted Obama-era officials to rush to preserve any evidence to the contrary, according to the Times.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who backed Trump in the election, joined Democrats last Friday in calling on Sessions to turn over the investigation to an independent prosecutor.

There remains no solid evidence to believe President Trump is being controlled by Russian Federation or is "Putin's Puppet", a talking point that initially emerged from the Hillary Clinton campaign. The Justice Department says he had more than 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors previous year, including two with Russia's Sergey Kislyak, in his capacity as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Those were among questions from members of the Senate Intelligence Committee during Tuesday's confirmation hearing for Coats, who was part of the panel before leaving office in January. The White House and Russian Federation have strongly denied the allegations. "You had me at hello for going after foreign threats, but I'm not there on innocent Americans". Burr should have let Trump's people know that.

As the reports emerge, Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway tells MSNBC that Flynn "does enjoy the full confidence of the President", but around an hour later, Spicer says Trump is "evaluating the situation".

"Intelligence has been in the dock since Election Day with a whole host of accusations coming out of the transition team and the White House", Mr. Hayden said.

"Recent commentary on the size of the ODNI doesn't mesh well with what I've seen firsthand", Coats noted in his opening comments, adding that "I believe it does a disservice to this committee and your efforts to keep the size of the ODNI in check".

"Yes, I am. I've been assured that I have the authority to be a member of that committee and be at that committee at every one of its meetings", Coats said.



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