Cummings tells Chaffetz to demand WH docs on Trump, Russia's Comey conversation

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FBI Director James Comey had publicly confirmed the existence of the investigation in March.

Democrats in attendance also contradicted the President's latest narrative for firing James Comey as FBI Director.

The president told NBC News' Lester Holt that the Russian Federation investigation played a role in his decision to fire Comey, which he said he made unilaterally, contradicting the initial White House justification for his ouster.

Comey, who was leading an FBI investigation into Trump's campaign team and whether it colluded with the Kremlin during the 2016 election, was sacked earlier this month.

First, the Washington Post reported that the federal investigation into Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 election has now identified a current Trump administration official as a "significant person of interest", according to multiple unnamed sources. The person may be cooperating or have information of use to investigators.

"I faced great pressure because of Russia", Trump told Russian officials who visited him in the Oval Office the day after he fired Comey, according to a Friday New York Times report.

But a New York Times report published this afternoon has uncovered an entirely new reason last week's White House chat is turning into one of the most consequential conversations of Trump's young presidency.

"I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".

President Donald Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last Wednesday.

The report said Trump's comments came from the White House's official written account of the meeting, which included quotations read to the Times with another official confirming the conversation had taken place.

Committee leaders said on Friday he would appear sometime after the US Memorial Day holiday on May 29. "I stand by it", Rosenstein said in his two separate briefings on Comey's firing, one to the Senate yesterday and the other to the House today. The May 14-18 opinion poll found that 38 percent of adults approved of Trump while 56 percent disapproved.

United States stocks immediately pared gains after the reports but still closed higher for a second straight day.

Asked point-blank if he'd done anything that might merit prosecution or even impeachment, Trump said no - and then added of the lingering allegations and questions: "I think it's totally ridiculous".

Earlier this week, the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to take over the federal investigation in an effort to re-establish independence from the White House.

As previously reported on The Root, President Donald Trump fired Comey on May 9.

This is not the first time Trump's White House has offered an explanation for an event that was later directly contradicted. He 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". He says he thought that move was appropriate and produced a memo summarizing what he said were his "longstanding concerns" over Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation.

"You can never get guidance from the executive branch about how Congress is to do something because there's inherently always going to be tension", said Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

Now it turns out that, before Sessions became attorney general, he and Rosenstein had already decided the man leading the investigation within the FBI needed to be fired.