Trump Denies Comey Allegations, Collusion with Russian Federation

Trump denies asking Comey to drop probe; decries 'witch hunt'

New York Times Source For Comey News: Benjamin Wittes

The committee said in a statement late on Friday that it planned to schedule the hearing for some time after Memorial Day.

Democrats said the new stories underscore their belief that Trump fired Comey in order to shut down the Russian Federation probe.

He also denied he urged Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, telling reporters, "No, no".

Mr Comey is known to produce memos documenting especially sensitive or unsettling encounters, such as after the February meeting.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Trump called Comey weeks after he took office on January 20 and asked him when federal authorities were going to say Trump was not under investigation.

The report cited notes from a May 10 Oval Office meeting - the day after Mr Trump fired Mr Comey. "If there was any question as to why Comey was really fired, @realDonaldTrump just answered it". He was insane, a real nut job.

"I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".

In a press conference at the White House on Thursday, Mr Trump said that while he respects the decision to appoint a special counsel, he added that "the entire thing has been a witch hunt".

"The President has always emphasised the importance of making deals with Russian Federation as it relates to Syria, Ukraine, defeating ISIS and other key issues for the benefit and safety of the American people", the statement said. Mr Comey was heading the bureau's Russian Federation and Trump campaign investigation.

Comey told Trump he should not contact him directly about FBI investigations but follow procedure and have the White House counsel ask the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI, the Times reported. Meanwhile, Mr Comey has agreed to publicly testify about Russian interference in the U.S. elections.

The White House originally pointed to a recommendation from acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein criticizing Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server as the impetus for his firing.

"He did acknowledge that he knew Comey would be removed prior to him writing his memo", she says. Trump said as recently as Thursday that he acted on a "very strong" recommendation from Rosenstein, but Rosenstein made it clear to Congress that he drafted his memo only after Trump told him of his plans to dismiss the Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

"My memorandum is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination", he said.

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