Comey set to testify publicly about why Trump fired him

The New York Times reported Friday that Trump told the Russians that recently fired FBI Director James Comey was a "nut job" whose ouster relieved "great pressure" on him. The announcement comes hours after Trump said he was "very close" to naming the replacement of former FBI Director James Comey whom he fired on May 9.

"Director Comey ... deserves an opportunity to tell his story", said Sen.

"I am hopeful that [Comey] will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, Republican Richard Burr, said in a statement.

Part of Mueller's investigation could examine if President Trump obstructed justice when he reportedly told Comey in relation to a federal probe of former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, "He is a good guy".

Earlier Friday, the New York Times reported that Trump told visiting Russian officials in a May 10 White House meeting that he had fired Comey because "he was insane, a real nut job". "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump said on May 10, according to the newspaper.

Contacted by the Times, White House press secretary Sean Spice did not deny Trump had made the statements, saying Comey's "grandstanding and politicizing" of the Russian Federation probe had put "unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation". "The investigation would have always continued, and, obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it", White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday.

He continues, "Comey regards his predecessor as a mentor, while Mueller considers Comey his protégé".

More news: Fired FBI chief James Comey to testify publicly in Congress

Rosenstein revealed that detail in two briefings to members of Congress this week, according to remarks released Friday by the Justice Department.

The Times report added to the impression, given by Trump himself in a television interview last week, that the Russian Federation issue was a factor in firing Comey.

Comey's highly-anticipated testimony, which will be slated after the Memorial Day congressional recess, comes after he was sacked by Trump May 9 amid a mounting investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election and possible ties between Trump campaign associates and the country.

In a statement issued on Friday evening, the committee said that it would schedule the hearing for after Memorial Day. Asked whether that included Rosenstein, he said, "I don't think he did a lot to bolster our confidence in him".

The White House executive summary "contained Mr. Trump's comments, was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting", the Times said.

One point where the investigations may meet is with Comey himself, who has been invited to testify by several congressional committees about whether Trump attempted to interfere in the FBI investigation. Democrats were simultaneously heartened by the selection of a respected former FBI director and prosecutor to lead an investigation that they feared had been tarnished by Trump's interference, while also concerned about the possibility of losing their grip on the information coming out of their own investigations.

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