Former FBI Director James Comey to testify on Russian investigation

Though the governor's MSNBC answer did not explicitly reference Trump's conversations with Comey, it came the same day that the former FBI chief's testimony detailed conversations where the President asked him to pledge loyalty and told him to back off an investigation into disgraced National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Both National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers and Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee they believed their conversations with the president were confidential.

FOX61 will be airing Comey's testimony live on air, and online, starting at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Comey's remarks were released Wednesday afternoon, one day before he is scheduled to testify regarding the Russian Federation probe and Trump's alleged attempts to interfere. "And he said that ever since, the President had been trying to be chummy in a fashion that Comey felt was created to absorb him into Trump's world - to make him part of the team".

Comey states that he considered Trump's request on Flynn "very concerning, given the FBI's role as an independent investigative agency" but made a decision to keep it "very closely held".

Coats, however, denied to the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday morning that he ever "felt pressured to intervene in the Russian Federation investigation in any way". Hale said in a statement: "Director Coats does not discuss his private conversations with the President".

NSA Director Mike Rogers says he has not yet received an answer from the White House about whether the president meant to invoke the authority afforded to him to withhold certain communications from the public.

Near the end of the dinner, Mr. Comey says, Mr. Trump returned to the topic of loyalty, to which Mr. Comey replied, "You will always get honesty from me".

Democrats are almost united in their suspicions of Trump, with 88 percent saying he fired Comey in May to protect himself and 87 percent saying Trump is trying to interfere with investigations of possible Russian influence in the election.

"He then said, 'I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. I hope you can let this go", Trump said, according to the Comey memo several of his associates shared with reporters. By 63 to 20 percent, more independents say Trump fired Comey to protect himself rather than for the good of the country.

Trump has repeatedly denied any coordination took place between his campaign and the Russian government, which, according to US intelligence agencies, stole emails embarrassing to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and leaked them to undermine her campaign.

"The President feels completely and totally vindicated", the statement said.

"He is a good guy and has been through a lot", Mr. Comey quotes Mr. Trump as saying. Days after Comey's firing, the Justice Department appointed a special counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, to oversee the federal investigation.

"It is possible we understood the phrase "honest loyalty" differently, but I decided it wouldn't be productive to push it further", Mr. Comey writes.

"This is one man's account of a conversation, it is a set of notes, it's exactly what we expect from James Comey".

The stakes for Thursday's hearing are regarded as almost as high as the Access Hollywood crisis, when a tape leaked to the Washington Post revealed Trump making sexist and disparaging comments about women, two people familiar with the preparations said. Mr. Trump has denied this.

  • Larry Hoffman