20 May, 2017
Donald Trump has refuted the claims made by a media report that he had asked sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey to quash the agency's investigation into ties between his former national security adviser Mike Flynn and Russian Federation.
Trump was also asked whether former Connecticut Sen.
Comey - whom Trump fired May 9 - wrote a memo memorializing a discussion with the president about Flynn and the FBI's investigation, two sources close to the former FBI director who had seen the memo confirmed to NPR.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that "the country is being tested in unprecedented ways" after learning of new reporting saying that Trump asked Comey to shelve the investigation.
While it's not yet confirmed whether Comey will accept any of the invitations to testify, reports citing sources close to Comey have said the ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation director wanted to testify publicly rather than in a closed setting.
Another answer on that subject seemed both more specific and perhaps ambiguous.
President Trump delivered a full-throated denial on Thursday that he or members of his presidential campaign engaged in any collusion with the Russian government in order to influence the 2016 election.
"I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt", Trump responded during his first press conference since Rosenstein named former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the probe. Despite the president's furious reaction, some fellow Republicans welcomed Mueller's appointment and expressed hopes it would restore some composure to a capital plunged in chaos.
"We need the facts". Tim Scott, R-S.C. "I do think that the special prosecutor provides a sense of calm and confidence perhaps for the American people, which is incredibly important".
Trump also changed his story once again about the circumstances surrounding Comey's firing, returning again to the White House's original rationale that he based his decision on Rosenstein's recommendation.
Trump referred to Comey's testimony at a recent Capitol Hill hearing, after which the Justice Department ended up having to amend part of his testimony regarding last year's probe of Hillary Clinton's email practices.
"That was a poor, poor performance", Trump said. "Because you look at all of the people on the Democratic side, not only the Republican side, that were saying such awful things about director Comey", he said.
"I'm sure we're going to want to hear from Comey", said Ryan, adding that "our job is to be responsible, sober and focused only on gathering the facts".