James Comey reportedly believes Trump was trying to influence him

He also said that "the Russian Federation thing" had been a factor in his decision, later calling Comey a "showboat", a "grandstander", and a "real nut job".

Reports that Trump boasted to Russian officials of firing former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey to relieve "great pressure" from a law-enforcement probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election engulfed his administration in turmoil just as Trump left for his first foreign trip as president on Friday.

On Friday, former FBI Director James Comey agreed to testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee, on a date to be determined after Memorial Day, as part of an ongoing investigation into possible Russian interference in the USA presidential election.

Mr. Trump apparently added, "I'm not under investigation".

Meanwhile, the federal investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation has tagged a current White House official as a "significant person of interest", the Washington Post reported on Friday.

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The announcement comes as President Donald Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip as president.

TASS posted pictures showing the trio together in the Oval Office, angering the White House and adding odd and ironic optics to questions swirling around the White House over Comey's firing and the investigations into allegations of questionable ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Comey was sacked by President Donald Trump earlier this month.

Comey will testify in open session of the Senate Intelligence Committee at some point after the Memorial Day holiday, May 29, though a date has not yet been set.

The conversations, discovered during intelligence intercepts, alarmed the Obama White House so much that there was a "five alarm fire" regarding Flynn, and the Obama administration limited sharing of information with him during the transition when he was penciled in for National Security Advisor. Another report from the Washington Post referred to a senior adviser to Trump, but did not name Kushner specifically.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied that Comey had come up during the meeting, according to Interfax news agency.

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan said he would not discuss information provided in classified briefings and said the House Oversight committee had already asked for documents related to Comey's firing. It says the president then told Russia's foreign minister and ambassador that he "faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".

White House spokesman Sean Spicer did not dispute the Times's account.

When asked if Comey's firing was an effort by the Trump administration to impede the FBI's Russian Federation probe, McCain said he did not know.

Meanwhile, Mr Comey has agreed to publicly testify about Russian interference in the United States elections.

Russia Foreign Minister Denies Talking to Trump about Comey
Rubio asked. "There's no doubt that that's the questions that are going to get asked, and asked repeatedly". McMaster said only that Trump was speaking about his desire to find common ground with the Russians.

"By grandstanding and politicising the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia", Mr Spicer said.

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