Former FBI Director James Comey agrees to testify before Senate Intel Committee

Even his enemies, Trump declared, recognize his innocence.

But the president undercut that argument a day later, telling NBC News, "When I chose to just do it, I said to myself - I said, you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story".

The deputy attorney general stood by the contents of his memo in his comments to Congress on Thursday, maintaining his disagreement with Comey's actions in relation to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails as secretary of state, according to Rosenstein's prepared opening statement to both the House and Senate.

Trump has cited Rosenstein's memo on Comey as contributing to his decision to fire him, while Democrats have criticized Rosenstein for agreeing to write it.

Rosenstein was returning to the Capitol on Friday for another closed-door session, this time with all members of the House. At that same May 10 meeting, Trump revealed to the Russians highly classified intelligence on ISIS that the United States had not even shared with close allies. Joe Lieberman was among the finalists.

But calmness seemed far off. And Comey has long arms so Comey said he pre-emptively reached out for a handshake and grabbed the president's hand. It is expected to include scrutiny of Trump's fired national security adviser, Michael Flynn, as well as his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and two former advisors, Carter Page and Roger Stone, and their contacts with Russian officials.

Investigators in the federal probe of possible ties between President Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation now consider a current White House official a "significant person of interest", according to a new report.

Did he collude with Russian Federation in his campaign to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton?

"There is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign - but I can only speak for myself - and the Russians". "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history" he tweeted.

Financial markets recovered somewhat Thursday following a sharp downturn a day earlier after news broke of the special counsel's appointment. Defending his decision to sack Comey, he said the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief was "very unpopular" among many people.

Senators said that Rosenstein steered clear of specifics while making clear that Mueller has wide latitude to pursue the investigation wherever it leads, potentially including criminal charges.

Trott says Rosenstein answered that he didn't want to interfere with the independent investigation that will now be run by former FBI chief Robert Mueller.

At the press conference, Trump said his administration "look forward to getting all these things behind us". Rosenstein added, though, "I believe that he made his decisions in good faith".

The White House document that contained Trump's comments was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting.

He denied media reports from last week that Comey had asked him for additional resources for his investigation before Trump fired him. It wasn't because Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote a memo saying Comey made a bunch of boo boos in the Clinton email probe. Trump fired Comey for the very same reason he told NBC News's Lester Holt on May 11. "Because you look at all of the people on the Democratic side, not only the Republican side, that were saying such awful things about director Comey", he said.

First there was then-FBI Director James B. Comey's announcement in March that the probe was focusing not just generally on Russian hacking but on alleged ties between Russia and the Trump campaign; now we learn it's pointing more toward the top.

  • Larry Hoffman