Ryan backs Trump, cautions against 'rush to judgment'

"I'm sure we're going to want to hear from Mr. Comey if this happens as he allegedly describes; why didn't he take action at the time?".

Trump was "furious" about the story, reportedly cursing at staff, but retired to his room after 75 minutes, leaving the fallout to them. "What I told our members is: now is the time to gather all the pertinent information".

Western diplomats have already raised the possibility of curtailing their intelligence sharing with the United States in the wake of Trump's disclosures.

And the co-founder of The Democratic Coalition Against Trump appealed to Comey: "If you wanna speak in public, you don't need Congress - just make a public statement before Trump kills us all". If true, these memoranda raise questions as to whether the President attempted to influence or impede the FBI's investigation as it relates to Lt. Gen. Flynn. Comey, who was known to keep a paper trail of sensitive meetings, chronicled the president's request in a memo he produced soon after the conversation, according to a Comey associate who reviewed the document and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

Green laid out the case for impeachment earlier this week, pointing to Trump's firing of FBI director James Comey, his subsequent warning that "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations", and his acknowledgement that he had the Russian Federation investigation on his mind when making the firing decision.

The news comes on the heels of a tumultuous week at the White House when Trump unexpectedly fired Comey and then disclosed classified information to Russia's foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation. "But we have an obligation to carry out our oversight regardless of which party is in the White House and that means before rushing to judgment we get all the pertinent information".

Several Republicans have expressed an interest in hearing from Comey and seeing the memo in the wake of Tuesday's New York Times report.

Trump was apparently referring to the FBI's ongoing counterintelligence inquiry into possible collusion between Trump campaign associates - including Flynn - and Russian officials seeking to influence the presidential election.

Earlier, in a sign that some Republicans could be reassessing their support for the USA president, Jason Chaffetz, the Republican head of the House oversight and government reform committee, said he had written to the Federal Bureau of Investigation demanding all "memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings" related to Mr Trump and Mr Comey's communications. He dismissed outrage over Trump's disclosures as US politicians whipping up "anti-Russian sentiment". But the White House has provided differing accounts of the firing.

But the White House rejected the characterization that the president tried to shut down an investigation.

Trump tweeted: James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

The bipartisan leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, also renewed its invitation to Mr. Comey to testify.

The White House vigorously denied it all.

Trump allegedly cleared Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Vice President Mike Pence out of the Oval Office in February so he could convince James Comey to call off the bureau's investigation into Flynn's potential ties to Russian Federation. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the president's comments were "wholly appropriate".

Associated Press writers Vivian Salama and Jill Colvin contributed.

  • Leroy Wright