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Trump asked intelligence chiefs to 'deny Russia collusion', reports

Trump is currently in Israel for his first foreign trip as president [AFP]

Date of publication: 23 May, 2017

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More allegations have emerged that Donald Trump attempted to sway investigators looking into suspected Russian collusion during last year's elections, following a Washington Post report.

President Donald Trump reportedly asked two top US intelligence officials to deny allegations of collusion with Russia to FBI investigators, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The reports suggest that Trump tried to to tamp down the Russia probe, with the president urging National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to publicly deny any evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia during last year's presidential election.

Citing current and former intelligence officials, the Post said both Rogers and Coats, who was appointed by Trump, did not comply with his request.

The president made the request after then FBI director James Comey revealed that the agency had been investigating Russian interference into the election since July 2016.

It follows reports last week that the president pressed Comey himself in meetings and phone calls to pull back on the investigation, which the White House had denied.

But the FBI director - who Trump fired two weeks ago - wrote detailed memos on his discussions with the president that were cited in the media reports.

In February, Trump allegedly asked several senior congressmen and intelligence officials to contact journalists and tell them there was no evidence to support the allegations of campaign links to Russia.

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