'I wish him luck', says Donald Trump ahead of James Comey testimony

Trump reportedly began complaining about the FBI investigation, which Comey had confirmed was happening two days earlier in a Congressional hearing, as well as Comey's handling of it.

He attended a briefing at the White House along with officials from other government agencies, and according to the Washington Post, as the briefing was wrapping up, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

"They've talked, and I understand the special counsel has not fenced him off in any way, shape or form on the items he intends to talk about", Burr said.

Lawmakers tell CNN that Comey won't be constrained in recounting his conversations with Trump, but a Senate intelligence committee source also said that Comey is expected to abstain from discussing the ongoing federal Russian Federation investigation.

Comey is scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee beginning at 10 a.m. that day.

Since Comey was ousted May 9, Trump and Comey allies have traded competing narratives about their interactions.

The president asserted that Comey told him three times that he was not personally under investigation, while the former director's associates allege Trump asked Comey if he could back off an investigation into Flynn, who was sacked as national security adviser because he misled the White House about his ties to Russian Federation.

Comey confirmed in March that the FBI was investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any possible coordination with those in the Trump campaign. The White House referred questions to outside lawyers, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On Tuesday, just hours after White House spokesman Sean Spicer would not say whether Trump had confidence in his attorney general, the Justice Department also was confronted with reports that Sessions had at one point offered his resignation. We need to start fighting back. Trump joked during the gathering that his aide "has become much more famous than me".

Still, Trump supporters say they are willing to step in to help the White House deflect any accusations from Comey.

He said the White House has "improved" its communications with surrogates, starting with the president's recent trip overseas, and frequently holds call-ins to discuss what story lines they'd like to push.

  • Larry Hoffman