Trump Reportedly Told Russians Firing Comey Abated Pressure From Probe

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Trump decries 'single greatest witch hunt' in US history

President Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey on May 9.

Fired FBI director James Comey will appear at a public hearing of the Senate committee that is investigating possible ties between Russian Federation and the 2016 election campaign of US President Donald Trump.

Capping days of political drama in Washington, Mueller's appointment came as Trump fends off a stunning series of allegations including claims he shared U.S. secrets with Russian officials in the Oval Office.

On Friday, members of Congress said, Rosenstein clearly defined his role in Comey's dismissal, telling the assembly that while he had written a memo criticizing Comey's flouting of Justice Department rules for his public revelation of aspects of the Hillary Clinton email probe, it was not intended as a justification for firing Comey.

Investigators into Russian meddling in the US presidential elections are now also probing whether White House officials have engaged in a cover-up, according to members of Congress who were briefed Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. During the course of their conversation, he also reportedly called Comey "a real nut job". But the other official, senior adviser and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, is the only one of the three to work in the White House.

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".

A third major story dropped on Friday afternoon, with respect to President Donald Trump and the Russian Federation investigation.

The president has repeatedly denied any collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation, characterizing the multiple investigations of the matter as a "witch-hunt".

"By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia", Spicer said. Both stories indicate a marked escalation of the investigation since Mr Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor. However the White House said there would be no announcement Friday.

Trump denied that charge at a press conference on Thursday.

"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.

Another report published by The Washington Post claimed that Trump had revealed highly classified details to Lavrov and the Russian ambassador during the same meeting at the Oval Office.

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify publicly before the Senate intelligence committee, committee leaders announced Friday. Comey's October 28, 2016 letter to the FBI announcing he was reopening the investigation "flouted rules and deeply ingrained traditions", and guaranteed some people would question the FBI's role in the USA presidential election, Rosenstein continued.

Warner said Comey's testimony would help "answer some of the questions that have arisen since Director Comey was so suddenly dismissed by the President".

Chaffetz has already requested any memos, summaries and recordings from the Federal Bureau of Investigation about Comey's interactions with Trump.

In a statement, he said that Comey had put unnecessary pressure on the president's ability to conduct diplomacy with Russian Federation on matters such as Syria, Ukraine and the Islamic State group.

Massachusetts Democratic congressman Seth Moulton says Rosenstein didn't "do a lot to bolster our confidence in him".

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