Senators: Comey to testify publicly before intelligence panel

Although the date of the hearing has not yet been set, it will be scheduled after the 29 May Memorial Day holiday, the committee said.

"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 USA elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said in a statement released Friday evening.

The exchange supports claims that Trump sacked Comey over the bureau's probe into possible collusion between the real estate mogul's campaign and Moscow.

"I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", Burr said in a joint statement announcing Comey had agreed to testify.

He said he hopes Mr Comey's testimony will answer some of the questions that have arisen since Mr Comey was suddenly dismissed last week by President Trump.

That came on top of news that Trump allegedly shared classified information when meeting with Russian diplomats, and early Friday morning reports also emerged that in that same conversation, Trump called Comey a "nut job" whose firing relieved pressure on the president.

"Comey served his country with honour for many years, and he deserves an opportunity to tell his story".

"The President has always emphasized the importance of making deals with Russian Federation as it relates to Syria, Ukraine, defeating ISIS and other key issues for the benefit and safety of the American people", Spicer said.

The Times, citing a report on the meeting a source read to them, said that Trump told the Russians: "I just fired the head of the F.B.I".

White House aides initially said that Trump fired him on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, but the President later contradicted his aides and said he had already planned to fire Comey.

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that a senior White House official was now under investigation as part of an investigation over Russian efforts to tilt the elections in Trump's favour. I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation.

"By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation", he said.

  • Leroy Wright