Comey Agrees To Testify Before The Senate Intelligence Committee

Trump claims 'witch hunt' as special counsel takes lead

During his meeting with Russian officials last week, President Donald Trump said recently fired FBI Director James Comey was a "nut job" whose ouster relieved "great pressure" on him, according to a report Friday in The New York Times.

The Committee will schedule the open hearing after Memorial Day.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told the New York Times in a statement that Comey had behaved politically and put unnecessary pressure on the president's ability to conduct diplomacy with Russian Federation on matters such as Syria, ukraine and the Islamic State.

"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", Cummings said. "He was insane, a real nut job", MrTrump said, according to the New York Times, which cited a document read to it by a United States official.

He also reportedly said, "I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".

On the heels of a special counsel being named to oversee the Russian Federation probe, the Post report late Friday said law enforcement officials looking into possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign have identified a senior White House adviser as a significant person of interest.

"A thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity", he declared.

Law enforcement officials now consider a senior Trump adviser a "person of interest" in the probe, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The White House has been thrown into turmoil by a succession of stunning allegations against the president this week, including that he may have obstructed justice by asking Comey to drop an investigation into one of his top advisors. Mr Flynn had engaged in numerous contacts with Russian officials, some of which he misrepresented to Vice President Mike Pence and others.

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The billionaire property mogul added: "I'm not under investigation".

The most visible questions about the possible cover-up have come since Trump took office, and especially in the days since the president abruptly fired Comey on May 9.

Mueller's broad mandate gives him not only oversight of the Russian Federation probe, but also "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".

The Justice Department on Wednesday appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to lead the investigation.

Mr Rosenstein said, although he was personally fond of Mr Comey, "I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader".

The announcement, the latest in the shock-a-day Washington saga, was made by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"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.

His firing and news reports that Trump had previously asked Comey to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn led critics to charge that Trump may have improperly sought to hamper the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe. "I believe it. I stand by it". Rosenstein denounced that decision as “profoundly wrong and unfair.”.

Trump has reacted furiously to the appointment of a special counsel, a prosecutor with wide authority to investigate Russia's interference and other potential crimes uncovered. However, at a combative news conference Thursday, he fell short in trying to resolve questions about investigations into his campaign and his first four months in office.

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