James Comey reportedly believes Trump was trying to influence him
- Author: Leroy Wright May 22, 2017,
May 22, 2017, 5:23
White House hopes that Trump could leave scandalous allegations at home were crushed in a one-two punch of revelations that landed shortly after his departure.
Former FBI director James Comey will testify publicly about his role in the investigation into Russian meddling in the election and any possible connections to the campaign of President Donald Trump, the Senate Intelligence Committee has announced.
White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday did not deny that President Trump discussed his motivation for firing FBI Director James B. Comey in an Oval Office meeting with Russian officials this month.
"I just fired the head of the FBI He was insane, a real nut job", Mr Trump said, according to a document detailing the Russian visit. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump said, according to notes of the meeting read to the Times. "I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".
Russian conversations intercepted by United States intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign indicated that Moscow saw Donald Trump associate Michael Flynn as an ally who could help influence the Republican nominee, CNN reported Saturday. Comey will be testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee after Memorial Day but a date has yet to be set.
The ex-FBI chief has not spoken publicly since his surprise firing last week.
Chairman of the Senate Select Committee Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner said in the statement his testimony "will help answer some of the questions that have arisen since Comey was so suddenly dismissed by the president".
Trump fired Comey - who was spearheading the Russian Federation probe at the time - two weeks ago.
"We believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians", Yates told the hearing in her first public comments on the scandal which has dogged the opening months of Trump's presidency.
Key targets of the investigation until now have reportedly included former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and also former Trump campaign honcho Paul Manafort, two people who were part of Trump's campaign but are not currently part of the administration.
The White House repeated its assertion that a "thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity".
"I don't know how to read it except that, I'm nearly speechless because I don't know why someone would say something like that", McCain said, adding that the president should never have met with the Russian officials. Flynn resigned in February after having lied to investigators about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, who was one of the Russian officials Trump met at the White house on May 10.
Trump Administration aides have reportedly not disputed the content of document, rather they have disputed the claim that Trump's comments to the Russians provide evidence that Comey was sacked to force an end of ongoing FBI Trump-Russia investigation.
"If any president tries to impede an investigation - any president, no matter who it is - by interfering with the FBI, yes, that would be problematic".
However, Trump has criticized the decision to appoint a special counsel, saying that it "hurts our country".