Former FBI Director James Comey now believes that President Donald Trump was trying to influence his judgment about the Russian Federation probe, a person familiar with his thinking says, but whether that influence amounts to obstruction of justice remains an open question.
The Senate and House intelligence committees are also probing possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
The investigation is examining the extent of contact between the Trump campaign and Russian state officials, business connections to Russia and whether there is any connection to the hacking of emails between Hilary Clinton's campaign and senior Democrats.
"The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it", Spicer said, adding that the real story was the leaks of "private and highly classified conversations". The FBI's investigation has progressed in recent weeks, and McClatchy reported on Friday that Congress was told it now included whether any Trump officials engaged in a cover-up. He was insane, a real nut job, the Times reported that Trump said during the May 10 meeting.
But, warning that leaks were undermining national security, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said: "By grandstanding and politicising the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".
White House press secretary Sean Spicer didn't dispute the details in the New York Times article but offered a different interpretation of the president's intended meaning. Ryan said of the special counsel appointment of Robert Mueller was consistent with his goal of ensuring that "thorough and independent investigations are allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead".
The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said in a statement on Friday that "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".
US intelligence agencies said Russian Federation hacked emails of senior Democrats and orchestrated the release of embarrassing information in a bid to tip the 2016 USA presidential election in favor of Trump, whose views were seen as more in line with Moscow's.More news: James Comey will answer questions about his firing publicly
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Former FBI director James Comey, who was sacked by Donald Trump amid an agency probe into alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election, has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee at a public hearing.
Separately, a Washington Post report, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter, said a senior Trump adviser was now considered a "person of interest" in the law enforcement investigation into whether Mr Trump's campaign associates coordinated with Russian Federation in an effort to sway the 2016 election.
Rosenstein said in testimony to the Congress this week that investigators are now looking into the possibility of a coverup by the White House, unidentified lawmakers told McClatchy Friday.
The appointment has drawn generally favourable comments from Democrats and from some Republicans as well.
U.S. deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein explained his role in the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey today (May 19). But he added, I wrote it.
And Spicer maintained that Trump was aware the FBI investigation would continue after Comey's axing, even though Trump's quotes to the diplomats indicated otherwise.
Since President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9, the explanations for the dismissal have been getting murkier.
But Trump's conversations with Comey and the Russians were part of a pattern that could open him up to charges of obstruction of justice, experts say.