Comey set to testify publicly about why Trump fired him

"He was insane, a real nut job", the Times reported that Trump said during the May 10 meeting.

Trump on Thursday lashed out at the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations that his campaign collaborated with Russian Federation to sway the 2016 election, tweeting that it was "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

"By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage with Russian Federation", press secretary Sean Spicer said in the statement.

Trump has said he plans to nominate a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director soon, and that had been expected before his departure Friday afternoon on his first foreign trip as president.

Russian Federation has denied U.S. intelligence agencies' conclusion that it interfered in the election campaign to try to tilt the vote in Mr Trump's favour.

President allegedly told Russians that firing "nut job" Comey relieved 'great pressure, ' while federal probe appears to get more serious. Several senators said afterwards that Mr Rosenstein told them he was certain Mr Trump was going to dismiss Mr Comey, even before he wrote a memo critical of the director's performance.

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"This new report that President Trump openly admitted to the Russians that he "faced great pressure" from the FBI's criminal investigation that was "taken off" when he fired Director Comey is astonishing - and extremely troubling", he said.

The Washington Post, citing sources familiar with the matter, did not identify the senior Trump adviser except to say that the person of interest was close to Trump, a Republican who entered the White House four months ago.

Earlier this week, investors dumped stocks in response to reports that Trump in February had asked Comey to stop investigating his former national security adviser, prompting accusations the president may have tried to hamper the probe.

The summary was drawn from a formal account of last week's meeting between Mr Trump, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, who is at the centre of numerous controversial contacts between the Trump campaign and senior Russian officials.

She said subjects of the investigation could later argue that its results cannot be trusted, but she believes the argument would not stand up in court.

Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify in open session at the Senate Intel Committee Sen. Mr. Trump had denied any collusion with the Russians.

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This is not the first time Trump's White House has offered an explanation for an event that was later directly contradicted.

Before the appointment of Mueller, House Democrats on Wednesday took procedural steps toward forcing a House vote to establish a separate, independent commission to conduct its own investigation, similar to the 9/11 commission.

The announcement that Comey would testify followed closely the disclosure by the Justice Department that Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, had talked with Attorney General Jeff Sessions about replacing Comey last winter, before either man had been confirmed for his position in the Trump administration. When pressed on the issue, Rosenstein said that was not true.

Days after he won the United States presidential election last November, Donald Trump announced the nomination of Sessions as attorney general.

Rosenstein also said he was not aware that Comey had requested more resources for the Russian Federation probe before he was sacked, as some reports have alleged.

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