Former FBI director James Comey, who was sacked by President Donald Trump last week amid an agency probe into alleged Russian meddling in the US election, has agreed to testify before the US Senate Intelligence Committee at a public hearing, the committee said in a statement on Friday.
No date has yet been set for the open session hearing, though the statement said it would take place after the Memorial Day holiday, May 29.
In an Oval Office meeting with senior Russian officials last week, Trump called Comey a "nut job" and said firing the intelligence chief had relieved "great pressure" on him, The New York Times reported.
In a letter to Comey, Trump said the firing was necessary to restore "public trust and confidence" in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump told Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov last week, according to the Times, citing notes taken at the meeting and read to the paper by a U.S. official.
Questions about the FBI's ongoing Russian Federation investigation dominated a joint press conference with Colombia President Juan Manual Santos.
Trump's Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak came one day after Comey was sacked.
Spicer responded, "As the president has stated before, a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity".
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It has also been reported that Trump had told the Russians classified information about military operations involving Isis.
The new report comes as the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation intensifies.
The sources added, however, that overall the investigation is still focused on people who previously worked with the Trump campaign and administration but are not part of it now - namely former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Investigators into Russian meddling in the USA presidential elections are now also probing whether White House officials have engaged in a cover-up, according to members of Congress who were briefed Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Mr Flynn had engaged in numerous contacts with Russian officials, some of which he misrepresented to Vice President Mike Pence and others. "I'm not under investigation". In March, Kushner volunteered to answer lawmakers' questions about meetings he had with Russian officials during the transition.
"It's now considered a criminal investigation", said Sen. Both stories indicate a marked escalation of the investigation since Mr Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor. Trump has insisted at times that the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed to the very strong recommendation from Rosenstein. Trump has strongly denied any collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russian Federation and has rejected allegations that he pressured Comey to drop a related investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn - saying "the entire thing has been a witch hunt". "I believe it. I stand by it". Rosenstein said that though he was personally fond of Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader.. Rosenstein denounced that decision as profoundly wrong and unfair.. However, at a combative news conference Thursday, he fell short in trying to resolve questions about investigations into his campaign and his first four months in office.
"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", Warner, a Democrat, said.