Fired FBI chief Comey to testify publicly in Congress

Those outlets have cast the allegations as an ideological attack by Obama administration holdovers or the revenge of the "deep state", a term used by the far right to refer to what they see as a deeply entrenched bureaucracy opposed to Trump. "Moreover, the White House has not ruled out the possibility of using the rule to challenge Mueller's findings in court, should the investigation lead to prosecution".

Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify in open session at the Senate Intel Committee Sen.

Comey is known to produce memos documenting especially sensitive or unsettling encounters, such as after the February meeting.

The Judiciary Committee had also invited Comey to testify, but the leaders of that panel said Friday that Comey had declined their invitation.

But for many Americans, including President Donald Trump's staunchest supporters, the "crisis in Washington" is not about possible missteps by Trump or questions over whether his campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

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

Trump met with the Russians on May 10, the day after he fired Comey.

The reports, emerging just as Trump jetted off to Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip as president, were likely to extend the turmoil engulfing his administration since the May 9 firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey. Cummings called Trump's reported comment "astonishing and extremely troubling".

Questions about the FBI's ongoing Russian Federation investigation dominated a joint press conference with Colombia President Juan Manual Santos.

Sean Spicer, Trump's press secretary, did not dispute the account of the Oval Office statements.

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

"The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it". "Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations".

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.

In another Twitter post Thursday, Trump said: "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (sic) appointed".

The FBI's investigation seeks to determine whether and to what extent Trump associates were in contact with Kremlin operatives, what business dealings they might have had in Russian Federation, and whether they in any way facilitated the hacking and publishing of e-mails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, during the presidential campaign.

Public approval of President Donald Trump has dropped to its lowest level since his inauguration, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday, after Trump was accused of mishandling classified information and meddling with an FBI investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told Congress Friday he stands by a memo he wrote bluntly criticizing Comey.

Journalists have since revealed several instances of undisclosed meetings between Trump's associates and Russians, or contacts that the White House initially mischaracterized.

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

The reports came just as Trump flew to Saudi Arabia to kick off his first foreign trip as U.S. leader - highlighting how the controversy over his team's alleged links to Moscow is dogging his fledgling presidency.

  • Leroy Wright