July 23 (UPI) -- National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers said Saturday he won't serve poltical purposes in his job because "I will not violate the oath that I have taken in the 36 years as a commission officer."
Rogers, a Navy admiral, spoke Saturday at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colo.
"We are not about particular viewpoints. We are not about particular parties. We just can't work that way," he told the crowd.
Rogers, who has been the NSA chief since 2014, said he often tells his workforce: "We are intelligence professionals. We raise our right hand and we take an oath to defend the citizens of this nation and the values that are embodied in the Constitution ... Your integrity isn't worth the price of me or anybody else. You stand up and you remember that oath that we take."
Rogers' comments were applauded by those in attendance.
During testimony on June 7 before Congress, he refused to acknowledge whether he was personally asked by President Donald Trump to publicly rebut news reports of the federal government's probe into Russia's alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Rogers said he won't publicly discuss his private conversations with Trump but he has "never been directed to do anything that I felt was illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate. Nor have I felt pressured to do so. Nor would I do so."
The NSA director said he's more than willing to offer Trump his views even if the president doesn't agree with them.
"He has never shut me down," Rogers said. "He gives me good, direct feedback, sometimes: 'Mike, I don't agree with that. Mike, I'm in a different place than you are.'"
"That's exactly the way this is supposed to work," Rogers added.
One area he is in disagreement with Trump is the conclusion by intelligence agencies Russia attempted to influence the election.
"No doubt at all," Rogers said.
Trump has said he has some doubts.
During his talk Saturday, Rogers said "now is probably not the best time" to pursue a joint cybersecurity initiative with Russia -- an idea Trump mentioned after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 7.
Rogers acknowledged that any move to cooperate with Russia would be a policy decision, saying he was "not a policy guy, you got to talk to somebody else, that's not what we do."
The NSA director is not ruling out future cooperation with Russia on cybersecurity, however.
"Perhaps this is something that you could hold out, that we might want to build to over time were we to see changes in behavior," he said.