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U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on worldwide threats on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declined to say whether President Donald Trump asked him to help deny any collusion between his campaign team and Russia, as reported by the Washington Post, saying his talks with Trump were private.

"On this topic, as well as other topics, I don't feel it's appropriate to characterize discussions and conversations with the president," Coats said about the alleged request. He was speaking at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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