Trump hit by twin Russian Federation bombshells as he departs for foreign trip

President Trump fired Comey last week, setting off a political firestorm that included allegations that he is trying to influence the federal investigation into alleged collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

The FBI's investigation has bedeviled the Trump administration, and the president personally. "It makes it very clear that what Donald Trump was trying to do was to end the Russian investigation".

On a day the administration hoped that Trump could leave scandalous allegations at home as he began his first trip overseas as president, the development was unwelcome at the White House.

Trump and the White House have offered multiple, inconsistent motivations for Comey's early dismissal. Trump has denied that ever happened.

"The committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former director on his role in the development of the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 USA elections", Burr said in a statement, "and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media".

Former FBI director James Comey told associates Trump asked him to shut down an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The White House was rocked by a further revelation Friday, when reports emerged that Trump said his sacking of FBI director James Comey has relieved "great pressure" on him caused by the Russian Federation investigation.

The White House executive summary "contained Mr. Trump's comments, was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting", the Times said.

Mr Kushner has long advised the President both during his campaign and in the White House.

The committee's chairman, Senator Richard Burr, and the ranking Democrat, Senator Mark Warner, announced that Comey will testify in an open setting before the committee.

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The mainstream media have jumped on the as-yet-anonymous reports as additional fuel for their assertions that Trump ousted Comey for investigating his ties with Russian Federation.

"The investigation would have always continued, and, obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it", White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday.

While speaking with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Trump reportedly said, "I faced great pressure because of Russia". 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.

Asked whether Trump might have to cut short his nine-day trip because of the latest controversies, a White House official said such a move was "doubtful".

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

Trump has repeatedly slammed the FBI and congressional investigations as a "hoax" and blamed disgruntled officials at intelligence agencies for leaking information related to the probes. "I believe it. I stand by it".

The Justice Department on Wednesday appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to lead the investigation.

"Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader", Rosenstein said.

Trump also told the Russians, as he has said publicly, "I'm not under investigation".

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