Firing FBI chief eases 'great pressure' from probe

James Comey firing overshadows GOP agenda this week

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.

"I'm not under investigation", the USA president told Russian officials.

If we're parsing Trump's statements carefully, he still hasn't technically said something akin to 'I fired Comey because of the Russian Federation investigation.' He's said just about everything but that, mind you, but he hasn't quite said that.

One government official interviewed by the Times claimed Trump's talk of "pressure" was a negotiation tactic, meant to press upon Moscow that its meddling in the 2016 elections had raised problems for the president, and to induce Russian Federation into diplomatic concessions.

The announcement late Friday from committee chairman Richard Burr, of North Carolina, and vice chairman Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat, came hours after the Washington Post reported that the FBI's Russian Federation investigation had identified a senior White House adviser close to the president as a significant person of interest. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump said, according to a document summarizing the meeting that a US official read to the Times.

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

The Times report added to the impression given by Trump himself in a television interview last week in which he said that the Russian Federation issue was a factor in firing Comey, although the White House has given different versions of the reasons for the dismissal.

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

"The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", Burr said.

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Robert Mueller, who served as FBI chief under George W Bush, was appointed this week as special counsel for the investigation. “I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation.

Wyden said he needed time to decide how to respond, but pledged he would do so.

Trump has said he plans to nominate a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director soon, and that had been expected before his departure.

That flies in the face of the White House's public insistence that Mr Comey's dismissal was not linked to his ongoing investigation.

"I also expect that director Comey will be able to shed light on issues critical to this Committee's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election", he said.

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

Some congressional Republicans have also suggested that Mueller's appointment would lead to changes in Congress' investigation. McClatchy cited members of Congress as being the source for the report, which was published after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein briefed Congress on Friday. But he added, “I wrote it.

"My memorandum is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination", he said.
"I stand by it", Rosenstein said Friday during his closed-door session with lawmakers at the House of Representatives.

Trump had ignited a political firestorm the previous week when he fired Comey, who was running the investigation.

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