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Comey Agrees To Testify Before Senate Intelligence Committee
20 May 2017, 05:12 | Ignacio Ramos
James Comey to testify publicly before intelligence panel
Former FBI director James Comey has agreed to testify before the Senate intelligence committee at a public hearing.
Mr Trump told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week that Mr Comey was a "nut job", according to the Times, citing notes taken at the meeting and read to the paper by a USA official.
The president's move came days after Comey testified in Capitol Hill about the FBI's investigation into Russia's meddling into the USA elections and a possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Mark Warner, D-Va., the committee's vice chairman.
On Wednesday, a White House official told CNN that Comey's memo was incorrect, and that he had recalled the conversation inaccurately.
And The New York Times said the U.S. president had told top Russian officials Mr Comey's sacking had relieved "great pressure" on him. "Moreover, the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it".
"As the President has stated before, a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in response to the Post story that a White House official is now ensnared in the probe. The investigation is now in the hands of a special counsel, as well as multiple Congressional committees.
Earlier this week, the Justice Department appointed former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller to oversee an independent inquiry into contacts between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. It did say Comey, "created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation". Trump has denied the allegation.
Comey's decision ended more than a week of speculation about whether he would appear publicly to make his case since he was sacked by Trump on May 9, and underscores how the probe is accelerating.
The Times, citing a report on the meeting a source read to them, said that Trump told the Russians: "I just fired the head of the F.B.I". I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump is quoted as saying, according to the document. Chaffetz, who announced Thursday he is leaving Congress at the end of June, has requested Comey's memos, as has the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee.
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