Comey agrees to testify before Senate Intel Committee

Comey agrees to testify before Senate Intel Committee

Comey agrees to testify before Senate Intel Committee

That's because Comey, as FBI director, was leading the Russia investigation and had recently announced the probe was targeting alleged Russian ties to Trump's campaign.

Two more bombshell reports published Friday afternoon delivered a one-two punch to the Trump White House regarding the investigation into its potential ties to Russian Federation, capping off a week where each day dealt a fresh blockbuster blow to the administration. After two days of the White House claiming the Justice Department had initiated Comey's firing and that it was because of the Hillary Clinton investigation, Trump said to hell with it; he blurted out that he was determined to fire Comey all along and that the Russian Federation investigation was on his mind when he chose to do it. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by a U.S. official.

Spicer offered a new explanation for the firing, saying that Trump had been trying to improve relations with Russian Federation - and Comey got in the way.

Asked about the Times report, Spicer said of the former FBI chief, "by grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".

"As the president has stated before - a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement in response to the Post's report. Both stories indicate a marked escalation of the investigation since Mr Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor.

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The Senate and House intelligence committees are also probing possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. The White House did not dispute the Times reporting on Trump's quote.

The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said in a statement on Friday that "by grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".

White House officials did not deny either story, but only stressed that Trump and his staff had no collusion with Russian Federation.

Comey, who has not spoken publicly in the 10 days since he was sacked, will testify in an open session of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", said Burr. Trump has insisted at times that the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed - as recently as Thursday - to the "very strong" recommendation from Rosenstein.

"I wrote it. I believe it".

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Rosenstein said in testimony to the Congress this week that investigators are now looking into the possibility of a coverup by the White House, unidentified lawmakers told McClatchy Friday.

In the briefing, Rosenstein stressed that his memo criticizing Comey was not meant to be a finding of official misconduct or a "statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination".

The appointment of Mueller as special counsel has drawn generally favourable comments from Democrats and from some Republicans as well.

That flies in the face of the White House's public insistence that Comey's dismissal was not linked to his ongoing investigation.

On Thursday, Trump declared himself the victim of the "greatest witch hunt" in American political history and denied allegations of collusion.

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And Spicer maintained that Trump was aware the FBI investigation would continue after Comey's axing, even though Trump's quotes to the diplomats indicated otherwise.

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