US President Donald Trump has denied he told then-FBI chief James Comey he hoped an investigation into a former national security adviser could be let go, adding he was "100 per cent" willing to give his version of events under oath.
Former FBI Director James Comey told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday about a possible third interaction between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian officials, a source familiar with the closed session told NBC News.
A Republican member of the Senate Intelligence committee says Congress should obtain any tapes that President Donald Trump might have of his conversations with the man he fired as Federal Bureau of Investigation director - James Comey.
Comey also said he asked a friend to share with the media the contents of memos he had written about his conversations with Trump, saying he thought the move would lead to the naming of a special counsel to investigate Russia's interference in the US presidential election.
Mr Trump also seized on Mr Comey's revelation that he had directed a friend to release memos he'd written documenting his conversations with the president to a reporter. "Didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel, so I asked a close friend of mine to do it".
Comey said he didn't want to take the matter to attorney general Jeff Sessions, a close Trump ally, because he believed Sessions would soon have to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation.
In that testimony he had already disclosed that Trump demanded his "loyalty" and directly pushed him to "lift the cloud" of investigation by declaring publicly the president was not the target of the FBI probe into his campaign's Russian Federation ties.
"Well, I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future", Mr Trump said, when asked about the existence of the tapes.
My judgment was, I need to get that out into the public square.
Trump was expected to face journalists at the White House later Friday in a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. The statement held that other things Comey said weren't true, either. And it raised questions about Obama administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who requested that Comey call his probe of Hillary Clinton's emails a "matter", not an "investigation".
Déferlante Macron en vue sur l'Assemblée nationale — Législatives françaises
Avec un score de 13 à 14% très éloigné du score de Marine Le Pen au premier tour de la présidentielle (21,30%). La République en marche est bien partie pour décrocher une très large majorité à l'Assemblée nationale.
Perhaps not. Rachel noted on the show last night that the president's outside counsel had a hard day - he made a specific claim about the timeline surrounding FBI Director James Comey's memos, which turned out to be completely wrong - and today doesn't appear to be going any better.
United States stocks were higher in afternoon trading as Comey's testimony was seen by investors as having no smoking gun that could affect Trump's presidency.
He added: "I was sacked in some way to change...the way the Russian investigation was being conducted".
"He's a leaker", Mr Trump said dismissively.
"Obstruction of justice is clearly on the minds of a lot of people and I think it damages the president politically", he said.
Republicans on the committee questioned Comey intently but did not attack his integrity or try to treat him roughly, as a witness making accusations against a sitting Republican president might expect.
"It is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications", said Mr Kasowitz.
In a statement Thursday after the hearing, Kasowitz ripped the former FBI Director for having leaked his memos to the press and suggested authorities should investigate his leaks.
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