But he did say, in answer to a hypothetical question, that "any political shaping of intelligence would be inappropriate".
Despite the Post's sourcing, its report did not provide documented evidence of Trump's requests. He said that he would cooperate with the Russian Federation probe, now being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and said if asked he would provide Mueller with the nature of conversations shared with Trump. He also offered some advice to Trump, outlining two "templates" that the investigation could follow: Watergate or the probe into Iran-Contra, a scandal for which President Ronald Reagan expressed contrition. "Are you able to assist in this matter?" one official said of the line of questioning from the White House.Comey's agreement to testify in front of the congressional intelligence committees will likely complicate Mueller's probe and will limit what the former director can publicly disclose.
Both Coats and Rogers were uncomfortable with Trump's request, The Post's sources said.
One official who spoke with NBC News, however, painted Trump's appeals to Coats and Rogers as less insidious and more indicative of the president's ignorance about how the intelligence community works and the independence of the respective agencies and their heads.
Senior intelligence officials also saw the March requests as a threat to the independence of US spy agencies, which are supposed to remain insulated from partisan issues.
"I don't think (Trump) ever asked somebody to say something that they didn't believe was true", the former official said. The White House is still fighting the released comments over Russian investigation and the firing of FBI director.
"The White House does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals", a White House spokesperson told the Post.
Coats served as a U.S. Senator from IN from 1989-1999, then from 2011-2017, before he was nominated and confirmed as national intelligence director IN March.
McCain pushed again, asking him if thought leaks, like the one Trump may have committed on May 10, were risky and Coats conceded that they would be.
Rogers is also scheduled to testify later Tuesday.
He said he is new to the job and not fully aware of the process for intelligence to be shared, nor if Trump had been cleared to share the intelligence, reportedly shared with the U.S.by Israel.
A series of bombshell reports in recent weeks have heightened the sense of scandal engulfing the Trump administration. [Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images] "By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".