New Russia probe leaks threaten to derail Donald Trump's foreign trip

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NPR reports that the hearing will be scheduled for after Memorial Day.

"I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", said Republican Sen. Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the committee. Sen.

President Donald Trump told Russian diplomats last week his firing of "nut job" James Comey had eased the pressure on him, even as the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation had moved into the White House, according to reports Friday that pursued the president as he began his maiden foreign trip.

Earlier this week, investors dumped stocks in response to reports that Trump in February had asked Comey to stop investigating his former national security adviser, prompting accusations the president may have tried to hamper the probe.

"Among the concerns that I recall were to restore the credibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, respect the established authority of the Department of Justice, limit public statements and eliminate leaks", he said, echoing the sentiments he had outlined in a May 9 memo that the White House released publicly that day and cited as the basis for the firing.

This story is developing and will be updated as details come in. He says he hopes Comey's testimony will answer some of the questions that have arisen since Comey was suddenly dismissed last week by Trump.

Trump acknowledged, in an interview with NBC News, that he had made a decision to fire Comey before reading the memo by Rosenstein.

"No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly", he said.

Trump, accompanied by wife Melania, walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Friday. 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.

The Senate and House intelligence committees are also probing possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Trump on Thursday lashed out at the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations that his campaign collaborated with Russian Federation to sway the 2016 election, tweeting that it was "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Michael Allen, a former senior director on the National Security Council in the George W. Bush White House, said that transcripts of meetings with foreign leaders usually "are treated like the crown jewels".

The Senate intelligence committee also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to turn over any notes Comey might have made regarding discussions he had with White House or Justice Department officials about Russia's efforts to influence the election.

FILE- In this March 7, 2017, file photo, then-Deputy Attorney General-designate Rod Rosenstein, listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Comey has not spoken publicly since President Donald Trump abruptly fired him less than two weeks ago amid his agency's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump camapaign and Russian officials.

Separately the New York Times reported that Trump boasted to Russian officials at a White House meeting last week that firing Comey relieved "great pressure" the president faced from a law-enforcement probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Comey will certainly be asked about encounters that precipitated his firing, including a January dinner in which, Comey has told associates, Trump asked for his loyalty.

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