Recent news reports have raised questions about whether President Donald Trump requested top intelligence officials’ help in trying to get James Comey, then the FBI director, to end an investigation into Trump’s former national- security adviser.

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WASHINGTON — The special counsel examining Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election has requested interviews with three high-ranking current and former intelligence officials in the latest indication he will investigate whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, a person briefed on the investigation said Wednesday.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, wants to question Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence; Adm. Michael S. Rogers, head of the National Security Agency (NSA); and Richard Ledgett, the former NSA deputy director.

None of the men were involved with Trump’s campaign. But recent news reports have raised questions about whether Trump requested their help in trying to get James Comey, then the FBI director, to end an investigation into Trump’s former national- security adviser. Last week, Coats and Rogers declined to answer questions before Congress about the matter.

Mueller’s office has also asked the NSA for any documents or notes related to the agency’s interactions with the White House as part of the Russia investigation, according to an intelligence official.

The Washington Post first reported Wednesday that Mueller had requested the interviews with the intelligence officials.

It has been clear since Mueller was appointed last month that he was likely to scrutinize the president’s actions. Trump has said he would be willing to be interviewed by Mueller’s agents. Comey said he was sure the special counsel would investigate the possibility of obstruction.

In recent days, Trump is said to have considered firing Mueller but was talked out of it by aides. If the president is under investigation for obstruction, any move to fire Mueller would prove more complicated politically.

Even if the FBI gathers information about the possibility of a crime, that does not mean prosecutors are building a case against the president. In the early stages of investigations, FBI agents typically want to gather all the facts. Agents then present those facts to prosecutors, who decide whether they want to take the case.

Mueller’s requests are among his first publicly known acts since he took over the investigation last month, after it was publicly revealed that Comey wrote a memo about how Trump asked him to halt the inquiry into his fired national-security adviser, Michael Flynn.

In testimony on Capitol Hill last week, Comey said Mueller had a copy of that memo and several others he had written about his interactions with Trump.

A spokeswoman for the White House referred all questions on the matter to Trump’s outside lawyer, Marc Kasowitz. A spokesman for Kasowitz said: “The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal.”

That Trump’s actions are under scrutiny reflects a ripple of unintended consequences that began when the president, frustrated by the cloud of investigations into Russian interference in the campaign, fired Comey last month. “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,’” Trump told NBC.

The administration could try to assert executive privilege to keep the intelligence officials from discussing those conversations with Mueller. But that could set up a fight in court, where judges have generally held that criminal investigators can demand to know information that would normally be privileged.

In his memos, Comey said Trump encouraged him to end an FBI investigation into Flynn, an effort that the then FBI chief called “very disturbing.” A broad federal inquiry into Flynn is underway. Among the issues being examined is whether he misled investigators about his ties to Russia, and his failure to disclose that he was working as a foreign agent of Turkey between August and November 2016, the same time he was advising the Trump campaign.

The Justice Department appointed Mueller last month to investigate whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives to influence the outcome of last year’s presidential election. He inherited the criminal investigations into Flynn and Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Mueller also was given the authority to investigate obstruction.

While Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, has never said what exactly prompted him to appoint Mueller, his decision came after the The New York Times published details about a dinner Comey had with the president at the White House in February. During the meal, the president brought up Flynn and told Comey: “I hope you can let this go,” according to the memo. Comey told the Senate he viewed that as a clear directive from the president to drop an investigation into Flynn.

Trump has denied Comey’s accusations and has vowed he would tell Mueller, should he be interviewed as part of the special counsel’s probe, that he “didn’t say” to Comey that he wanted him to drop the bureau’s probe of Flynn. He also denied he asked Comey to utter a loyalty pledge during a private Oval Office meeting before which he asked officials, including Sessions and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top White House adviser, to leave the room.

A former senior official said Mueller’s investigation was looking at money laundering by Trump associates. The suspicion is that any cooperation with Russian officials would likely have been done in exchange for some kind of financial payoff, and there would have been an effort to hide the payoffs, most likely by routing them through offshore banking centers.