Loading articles...

As Russia probe began, Trump called on spy chiefs for help

FILE - In this May 23, 2017, file photo, National Security Agency director Adm. Mike Rogers testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Two months before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in the spring of 2017, President Donald Trump picked up the phone and called Rogers and told him that news stories alleging that Trump's 2016 White House campaign had ties to Russia were false and the president asked whether Rogers could do anything to counter them.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON — Two months before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed, President Donald Trump called the head of the largest U.S. intelligence agency.

Trump told Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency at the time, that news stories alleging that Trump’s 2016 White House campaign had ties to Russia were false. Trump asked whether Rogers could do anything to counter them.

Trump’s outreach to Rogers and other top intelligence officials stands in sharp contrast to his public, combative stance with his intelligence agencies.

At the time of the call, Trump was about 60 days into his presidency, but he’d already managed to alienate large parts of the intelligence apparatus with comments denigrating the profession.

Yet in moments of concern as Mueller’s investigation proceeded, Trump turned to his spy chiefs for help.

Deb Riechmann And Susannah George, The Associated Press