Senior White House aide 'person of interest' in Russian Federation probe

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The hearing will be scheduled after the May 29 Memorial Day holiday, the statement said.

The FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties with Russian Federation has extended to a current senior White House official, the Washington Post reported Friday. He was insane, a real nut job, ” the Times reported that Trump said during the May 10 meeting.

While the White House initially pointed to a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, outlining Comey's mismanagement of the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's private email server, as the impetus for his termination, Trump later admitted that the Russian Federation investigation - which he has called a "hoax" - played a role.

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".

It did not deny the Times report that Trump was critical of Comey to the Russians the day after he fired him.

The Times reported on Friday that Trump told the Russians he "faced great pressure" because of the ongoing investigations into Russian meddling.

Law enforcement officials now consider a senior Trump adviser a "person of interest" in the probe, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

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Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, did not dispute the account. As the Post highlighted, only three current senior administration officials have had publicly known contacts with the Russians: Attorney general _Jeff Sessions, _Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The billionaire property mogul added: "I'm not under investigation".

The AFP reported that the Russian president has a recording of an exchange between Trump and the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov that he was "ready to provide" if necessary. The Justice Department's newly appointed special counsel, Robert Mueller, was given the authority to investigate not only potential collusion but also related allegations, which would include obstruction of justice.

"He refused to answer questions and he just kept pushing off everything onto Mueller", said Democratic representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona. Rosenstein said that though he was personally fond of Comey, “I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader.”.

Mr Trump has insisted at times the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed to a "very strong" recommendation from Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein.

The move, which came after Trump asked Comey for his loyalty and, according to memos written by the former FBI director, requested he kill an investigation into Trump's top national security adviser, was seen as a clear violation of protocol and had some Democrats calling for impeachment. But GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly anxious since Trump fired Comey, who had been leading the bureau's probe - and after Comey associates said he had notes from a meeting in which Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into the Russian Federation ties of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. 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.

Mr Trump clearly knew what he wanted to say as he took a few questions at a news briefing with visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

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