Fired FBI chief Comey to testify publicly in Congress

Former FBI Director James Comey

Trump has called the investigation of his presidential campaign's ties with Russian Federation a "witch hunt".

WASHINGTON ― A pair of bombshell reports on Friday threaten to overshadow President Donald Trump's first overseas trip and further embroil his administration and presidency in scandal. "I am surprised he will do so given the fact we now have a Special Counsel who will likely be investigating matters related to their conversations".

Comey has been at the center of a series of damaging leaks from the White House since he was sacked on May 9, including reports that Trump asked him to drop an investigation of Russia's ties with former White House aide Michael Flynn during Trump's first weeks in office.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Richard Burr, said he hoped the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief's testimony would "clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media".

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer didn't deny the comments, but said, "The president has always emphasized the importance of making deals with Russian Federation as it relates to Syria, Ukraine, defeating ISIS and other key issues..."

The White House initially attributed the firing to Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server, while Democrats and the press suspected an effort to disrupt the FBI's Russian Federation investigation. That was two days after Rosenstein named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate possible coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations'.

Trump made the remarks to reporters in the Oval Office with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger after a closed meeting with Russia's foreign minister.

Trump has come under fire for firing FBI Director James Comey, a decision which he has attributed in part to the way that the FBI handled the Russian Federation probe.

As the investigation has progressed, the public has remained clued in because of a heavy focus on the matter by The New York Times and The Washington Post, often relying on anonymous sources. "I certainly want former Director Comey to be able to tell his side of the story in regards to President Trump".

The paper said the comments came from the White House's written account of the Oval Office meeting.

The Times said the quotes were read to them by one American official and a second official confirmed what it called broad outlines of the discussion.

Justice Department appointed Mueller on May 17 as special counsel to oversee the investigation into alleged connections between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

Asked point-blank if he'd done anything that might merit prosecution or even impeachment, Trump said no - and then added of the lingering allegations and questions: "I think it's totally ridiculous".

In closed-door meetings with lawmakers on Thursday and Friday, Rosenstein said he wrote the memo after Trump told him one day before the May 9 firing that he wanted to dismiss Comey. Bob Casey, D-Pa.

"Director Comey was very unpopular with most people", said Trump.

The director had some hope that, over time, he could effectively point out the appropriate procedures and guidelines to both Trump and the White House staff about how the process of communications normally works.

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