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Senior Donald Trump advisor named as 'person of interest' in Russian Federation investigation
20 May 2017, 02:56 | Laverne Osborne
Comey will certainly be asked about encounters that precipitated his firing, including a January dinner in which, Comey has told associates, Trump asked for his loyalty.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said Trump has shown his disrespect for the presidency if the Timesreport is accurate. The United States government officially announced a year ago that Russian Federation had meddled in the 2016 election.
The senior Democrat on the House oversight committee said the panel should request White House documents related to the May 10 Oval Office meeting between Trump and Russian officials - and subpoena them if necessary. Trump has denied any collusion and called the case a waste of money and time.
Comey, who has not spoken publicly in the 10 days since he was sacked, will testify in an open session of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
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The White House was rocked by a further revelation Friday, when reports emerged that Trump said his sacking of FBI director James Comey has relieved "great pressure" on him caused by the Russian Federation investigation. "He was insane, a real nut job", the Times reported that Trump said during the May 10 meeting. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing.
Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open session.
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.
"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 press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters in response to the story.
While speaking with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Trump reportedly said, "I faced great pressure because of Russia".
Spicer said of the former FBI director: "by grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".
Comey is known to produce memos documenting especially sensitive or unsettling encounters, such as after the February meeting.
After days of political tumult in Washington, the Justice Department announced the appointment on Thursday of a special counsel to look into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.
"Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations", he added.
Robert Mueller, the newly appointed special counsel to investigate Russia's influence in the 2016 election, potentially carries conflicts of interest with him into the investigation.
According to the U.S. daily, the quotes and other excerpts from the minutes was readout to its correspondent by a Trump administration official. "I believe it. I stand by it".
"Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader", Rosenstein said. Trump aides said he never tried to squelch the Flynn investigation nor made inappropriate disclosures to the Russians.
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