Former FBI Chief James Comey to Testify Before Senate Intelligence Committee

"I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", said Senator Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, chairman of the committee.

The New York Times cited an unnamed U.S. official as its source for receiving the comments, which had been taken down in notes summarizing the meeting.

Trump has faced a steady flow of controversial revelations over the past 10 days, including that he asked Comey in February to end the FBI's investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

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.

The Trump administration is exploring whether it can use an obscure ethics rule to undermine the special counsel investigation into ties between President Donald Trump's campaign team and Russian Federation, two people familiar with White House thinking said on Friday.

"This is an inflection point in the entire Russian Federation collusion investigation", he told MSNBC. Trump has insisted at times that the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed - as recently as Thursday - to the "very strong" recommendation from Rosenstein.

Mr Comey had been investigating whether there was collusion between Russian Federation and anyone connected to the Trump campaign during last year's election.

More news: Trump Told Russians He Fired 'Nut Job' Comey Because Of Investigation

Comey's decision to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee while declining to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee drew complaints from Judiciary's chairman, Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, the committee's ranking member. That prompted then Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to warn the White House's top lawyer he might be susceptible to blackmail. 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.

A White House official said: "We are confident that when these inquiries are complete there will be no evidence to support any collusion between the campaign and Russian Federation".

"I don't believe anyone in any way directed him", said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), "but in fact he wrote the memo".

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that a senior White House official was now under investigation as part of a probe over Russian efforts to tilt the elections in Trump's favor.

"I think it's a mistake to nominate anyone who's running for office", said Sen.

Within hours of Mueller's appointment on Wednesday, the White House began reviewing the Code of Federal Regulations, which restricts newly hired government lawyers from investigating their prior law firm's clients for one year after their hiring, the sources said.

"It was not just an isolated mistake; the series of public statements about the email investigation, in my opinion, departed from the proper role of the FBI director and damaged public confidence in the Bureau and the Department", Rosenstein said. Comey publicly confirmed the existence of the investigation in March, telling Congress that his agents were investigating Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the presidential election and whether anyone in the Trump campaign had been involved.

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