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Why are you not answering these questions? Is there an invocation by the President of the United States of executive privilege? Is there or not? Not that I'm aware of. Then why are you not answering our questions? Because I feel it is inappropriate, Senator. What you feel isn't relevent, Admiral.
What you feel isn't the answer. The answer is, why are you not answering the questions? Is it an invocation of executive privilege? If there is, then let's know about it. If there isn't, answer the questions.>> I stand by the comments I've made. I'm not interested in repeating myself sir.
And I don't mean that in a contentious way.>> Well I do mean it in a contentious way.>> Yes sir.
I don't understand why you're not answering our questions. You can't, when when you were when you were confirmed before the Armed Services Committee, you took an oath.
Do you solemnly swear to give committee the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?>> I do.>> You answered yes to that.>> And I've asswered that those conversations were classified. And it is not appropriate in an open forum to discuss those classified conversations.
>> What is classified about a conversation involving whether or not you should intervene in the FBI investigation?>> Sir I stand by my previous comments.>> Mr Coates, same series of questions. What’s the basis for your refusal to answer these questions today?>> The basis is that what I've previously explained.
I do not believe it is appropriate for me to get into it->> What's the basis? I'm not satisfied with, I do not believe it is appropriate or I do not feel I should answer. I wanna understand the legal basis. You swore that oath to tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
And today, you are refusing to do so. What is the legal basis for your refusal to testify to this committee?>> I'm not sure I have a legal basis. But I'm more than willing to sit before this committee during its investigative process in a closed session and answer your questions.
>> Well, we're gonna be having a closed session