‘What You Feel Isn’t Relevant’: Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing Gets Heated as 4 Intel Chiefs Won’t Answer Anything

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 7, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

If you didn’t have time to watch the circus that was the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing with four of the top brass in American intelligence, let me assure you that I watched it for you and can sum it all up like this: Two intelligence officials confirmed that President Donald Trump did not ask them to intervene in the ongoing Russian investigation, and the other two refused to answer.

Outside of that, no one answered anything, literally. They filibustered, claimed they didn’t like the public forum and noted that they felt that answering certain questions was inappropriate.


On Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe noted that they had never been asked to intervene in an ongoing investigation. Both National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats soft-shoed their way around the question, adding that they didn’t feel it was appropriate to discuss specifics about conversations they’d had with the president.

“I don’t believe it’s appropriate for me to address that in a public session,” Coats said in response to questioning by the committee’s ranking Democratic member, Mark Warner (D-Va.), ABC News reports.

And Rogers testified:

In the three-plus years that I have been director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate, and to the best of my recollection, during that same period of service, I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so.


Warner wasn’t fooled by all the double-talk.

“I understand your answer. I’m disappointed with your answer,” Warner said in response to Rogers, later adding: “I hope you will understand the enormous need for the American public to know.”


But the truth is that none of the men who testified Wednesday give a thin hair on a rat’s ass about the American public. The rest of the hearing was each one using different phrases to say, “I’m not going to say anything.”

That’s when Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) came through, grilling these bamas. For King, he wanted answers as to why none of them were willing to answer anything. King wanted to know why they weren’t answering questions as to whether they had had conversations with the president, or whether or not they had conversations with now former FBI Director James Comey about Trump.


“Is there some prohibition in the law that I’m not familiar with that you can’t discuss an item that you’ve been asked directly?” King asked McCabe, Mediate reports.

McCabe replied that it wasn’t appropriate for him to answer the question. King stayed on him until it was clear that he wasn’t going to answer anything, and then King turned his attention to Roger and Coats.


King wanted to know why Rogers wasn’t answering, since he hadn’t exercised executive privilege and the questions being asked weren’t classified.

Rogers said, “I feel it is inappropriate.”

King shot back: “What you feel isn’t relevant, Admiral. What you feel isn’t the answer,” reports Mediate.


Rogers then shot back all snarky: “I’m not interested in repeating myself, sir. And I don’t mean that in a contentious way.”

King was in full fuss-fight mode and shot back, equally snarky: “Well, I do mean it in a contentious way. I don’t understand why you’re not answering our questions.”


King noted that none of the men were answering any of the questions the American public has, but none of the men gave a shit because they all wanted off the hot seat.

Watch the gloriously contentious exchange below:

Read more at ABC News and Mediate.

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.