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August 21 2017, 06:37 | Irvin Gilbert
Director of National Intelligence Agency Dan Coats (pictured May 23) reportedly told associates that President Trump asked him to intervene with James Comey.
"I wish him luck", Trump told reporters as he met with Republican congressional leaders.
The White House and its allies are scrambling for ways to offset potential damage from fired FBI Director James Comey's highly anticipated congressional testimony, an appearance that could expose new details about his discussions with President Donald Trump about the federal investigation into Russia's election meddling.
Two days after firing Comey last month, Trump called him a "showboat" in an interview with NBC News.
Presidents can assert executive privilege to prevent government employees from sharing information. Yet in a separate disclosure Tuesday night, The Washington Post reported Trump sought counsel from Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats about whether he could intervene with Comey to get the bureau to lay off its inquiry into Flynn.
Comey will testify Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee and is expected to be grilled about his interactions with Trump ahead of his own firing. Comey also testified in May, repeating that an investigation into Russian interference was continuing and defending his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. A source familiar with Comey's thinking recently tol. He'll also probably discuss the president's claim that Comey assured him on three occasions that he wasn't the subject of any investigation.
White House officials appear eager to keep the president away from television and Twitter Thursday, though those efforts rarely succeed. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the president plans to attend an infrastructure summit in the morning, then address the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference at 12:30 p.m. "In fact when I chose to just do it, I said to myself, 'You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won, '" Trump said.