Comey to testify before Senate panel; Dems have questions for Sessions

Comey, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next Thursday.

Putin said that US intelligence, which concluded Moscow was behind the election meddling in hopes of helping President Donald Trump win, "invented" evidence that pointed to Russian Federation.

While the congressional and FBI investigations into the Trump campaign's ties with Russia have shattered Moscow's hopes for a detente with Washington, Putin said Russia had been encouraged by Trump's campaign promises to improve Russia-US ties and emphasised that Moscow still hopes to forge a constructive dialogue.

Under huge pressure, U.S. Justice Department then appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the probe into the Trump campaign's relations with Russian Federation.

The hearings could add to problems facing the president over probes into alleged Russian meddling in last year's US election and potential collusion by his campaign.

The Russian President insisted that sanctions against Russia have had "zero effect" and said his country will be forced to respond to the development of U.S. anti-missile systems in Alaska and South Korea.

But most of Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday is expected to touch on grave matters of national security and allegations of espionage and improper influence. Spokesman Sean Spicer said on Friday that Trump continues to meet with candidates but would not give a timeline for choosing a nominee.

Trump has continued to dismiss the whole Russian Federation investigation, labeling it a "Witch Hunt" in a tweet Wednesday and saying Democrats are still upset about losing the election. "The exception would be any conversations that haven't yet been made public, by Comey or by Trump, assuming such conversations exist".

But it has been invoked by presidents since George Washington to withhold private White House deliberations and records from Congress.

The Associated Press reported this month that Comey planned to testify after Memorial Day, but the approval from Mueller to do so could indicate that date is fast approaching.

He took shots at Trump's comments that other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members should pay a greater share of the bloc's defense spending, NBC News reported.

Four were issued to ousted national security adviser Flynn, the president's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and their respective companies. Rosenstein, you may remember, wrote that lengthy memo laying out his recommendation for Comey's firing.

The requests to unmask the names of Trump associates underwent the same stringent evaluations that United States privacy laws and intelligence regulations require for all such applications, and they produced nothing out of the ordinary, said the four officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another of the three sources described the process as chaotic and said that in one interview, Trump spoke mostly about himself and seemed distracted.

The praise from Palestinian and Arab leaders and the protest from Israelis showed just how far Trump has shifted from the unwavering support for Israel's policies that he expressed during the 2016 campaign.

  • Zachary Reyes