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20 May 2017, 03:05 | Erica Roy
US President Donald Trump has told senior Russian officials that his abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey had eased "great pressure" on him from the probe over his campaign's ties with Russia, a media report said.
Comey's abrupt sacking by President Donald Trump triggered a political firestorm with an angry opposition calling for an appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the alleged Russian influence in last year's general elections.
Mr Trump's terse denial followed reports by Reuters and other media about a memo written by Mr Comey alleging that Mr Trump made the request to close down the investigation into Mr Michael Flynn and Russian Federation in February.
In his earlier Twitter posts, Mr Trump criticised the naming of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller as a special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, an official he had appointed.
The open hearing will be held after Memorial Day, North Carolina Sen.
USA law enforcement uses the term "a person of interest" to mean someone who is part of a criminal investigation but not arrested or formally accused of a crime.
The Washington Post is reporting that a current senior White House adviser is under scrutiny as part of an investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
"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", the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, said in a statement on Friday. According to the newly-revealed document, Mr Trump told Russian officials the day after Mr Comey left his job: "I just fired the head of the F.B.I".
Chaffetz has scheduled a hearing on Comey's firing next Wednesday, although it's not clear if Comey will testify.
"There is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself, and the Russians - zero", Mr. Trump told reporters. "That's taken off", Trump was quoted as saying.
Earlier this week, investors dumped stocks in response to reports that Trump in February had asked Comey to stop investigating his former national security adviser, prompting accusations the president may have tried to hamper the probe.
USA law enforcement uses the term "a person of interest" to mean someone who is part of a criminal investigation but not arrested or formally accused of a crime. The adviser under scrutiny is not named, but described as someone close to Trump.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, did not dispute the account.
"No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly", he said.
The Senate and House intelligence committees are also probing possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
He says his memo is not a finding of official misconduct and is not a statement of reasons to justify Comey's firing. He had been in contact with former Trump adviser Carter Page, though Page has said he shared only "basic immaterial information and publicly available research documents" with the Russian.
The White House originally pointed to a recommendation from acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein criticizing Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server as the impetus for his firing. "That's taken off, '" Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said on Twitter.
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