The White House has denied any collusion, and Trump has repeatedly complained about the probe, saying Democrats can not accept his election win.
And there was a debate within the senior leadership at the FBI over whether to tell the president in the first place that he wasn't - was not now a target of the investigation or of a investigation.
Officials said one of the exchanges of potential interest to Mueller took place on March 22, less than a week after Coats was confirmed by the Senate to serve as the nation's top intelligence official. The appearance before the Senate intelligence committee gave Sessions a chance to defend himself, but offered little new insight.
Trump has recently expressed frustration with Sessions, who has come under pressure over his own Russian Federation contacts.
Sessions was adamant that he did not have a private meeting with Kislyak at that event.
Importantly, Grassley seemed to indicate he wouldn't be happy ceding the investigations to Burr's intelligence committee - saying it has a "pretty narrow" purview. "I also recognize the gravity of the committee's current investigation and the need for the American people to be presented the facts, so that they might make their own judgments". That was not so, he said. Why didn't Wyden ask Comey that? And I don't hate to tell you, that I told you so. There are none, Sen.
Sessions lent his support to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is now in charge of the Trump campaign-Russia investigation. "I believe the American people have had it with stonewalling", he said.
But Ruddy opened a new line of questions about Mueller's impartiality - the fact that Trump had considered Mueller for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's job before he was named special counsel. "Nice", Trump wrote on Twitter, later repeating his accusation that the probe is a "witch hunt".
Rosenstein said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so, and an order from the president would not necessarily qualify.
Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the president's requests, officials said. A highly regarded Justice Department careerist, he tapped Mueller - infuriating Trump - after the White House tried to pin the Comey firing on him.
Mueller's investigative team has expanded in recent weeks.
Her tweet, late Tuesday, ended a day in which the White House said the president has "no intention" of firing Mueller.
The stated focus has been Russia's alleged efforts to tilt last November's presidential election Trump's way, and whether the winner's campaign was involved in any way.
Soon after, Trump spoke to Coats and Rogers about the Russian Federation investigation. Trump has denied several of Comey's claims, and his lawyer criticized what he called attempts to "undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications".
USA TODAY has not independently verified the report. "I think he's weighing that option".
On another hot-button issue, Sen.
The Senate panel also plans to hear at some point from Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and one of his closest White House aides. On three occasions, Comey said he was not.
Would any such tapes have to be preserved?