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Trump Reportedly Told Russians Firing Comey Abated Pressure From Probe

21 May 2017

Comey also reportedly filed a memo after a February 14 White House meeting in which he claimed that Trump asked him to end the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in response to the reports "every day the president gives us more reason to believe that he does not respect the office that he holds".

Cummings said the committee's Republican chairman, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, "should. have his subpoena pen ready" to obtain any White House documents related to Trump's meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador.

"I hope that former Director Comey's testimony will help answer some of the questions that have arisen since Director Comey was so suddenly dismissed by the President", Warner said in the statement announcing the open hearing.

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In a separate news report on Friday, the Washington Post claimed that a senior White House adviser was a person of significant interest in the investigation into possible ties between Trump's election campaign and Russian Federation. But Comey has declined to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which also extended him an invitation to testify, according to that committee's chairman and ranking member.

The President also reiterated that he was not personally under investigation.

"By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage with Russian Federation", press secretary Sean Spicer said in the statement.

Earlier on Friday, the New York Times reported that Trump told Russian officials the day after he fired Comey that the former FBI director was a "nut job" and he had let him go to take off the "great pressure" around the mounting investigation.

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This week, the former FBI Director Robert Mueller was assigned to oversee the investigation as Special Counsel. Last week Mr Trump warned the ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation director on Twitter against leaking information to the media.

On Wednesday, the committee called on Mr Comey to testify, asking the sacked bureau boss to appear in both open and closed sessions. It says the president then told Russia's foreign minister and ambassador that he "faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".

The White House has been thrown into turmoil by a succession of stunning allegations against the president this week, including that he may have obstructed justice by asking Comey to drop an investigation into one of his top advisors.

In the cauldron of intrigue and ever-breaking-news that is Washington, DC in the Trump Era, Comey's testimony could make it all boil over.

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