Putin: Russia has record to show Trump didn't pass on secrets

Putin: Russia has record to show Trump didn't pass on secrets

Investigators in the US Senate have now joined those in the House in accelerating their probe into President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The Senate Intelligence Committee's Republican chairman and Democratic vice chairman sent a letter to Comey "seeking his appearance before the [committee] in both open and closed sessions", the panel said in a statement on Wednesday.

But a report in the New York Times this week that Trump allegedly asked Comey to end the investigation undercut the president's rationale and has led to accusations from some in Congress that Trump was attempting to obstruct justice.

The New York Times, citing a current and a former us official, reported Tuesday that the information Trump divulged came from an Israeli intelligence asset based in Daesh-held territory in Syria.

Asked if he urged Comey to drop the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn - something a Comey associate claims happened based on extemporaneous notes kept by Comey at the time - Trump answered: "No. No".

Mr Trump later defended his right to share the information, and his national security adviser HR McMaster said the president's actions were "wholly appropriate".

Warner would not say if Comey accepted the invitation.

After the election, the contacts "accelerated", with Flynn raising the prospect of "back-channel" discussions between Trump and Putin.

"We need the memos, Comey should testify and I still believe that a special prosecutor should be named".

"I hope you can let this go", the president told Comey, according to Comey's memo of their meeting.

"They either don't understand that they are harming their country - which makes them just dumb - or they understand, which makes them risky and dirty", Putin said.

The White House has denied the allegation that Mr Trump had tried to influence Mr Comey.

"Speaker Ryan has shown he has zero, zero, zero appetite for any investigation of President Trump", Cummings said.

Trump also announced Thursday that he was "very close" to naming Comey's successor as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, with ex-Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman expected to fill the post. "It's clear that some in Washington are playing politics and working to harm the presidency through wild speculation and political innuendo, and this fact makes it even more important for the House to take the time to separate fact from fiction".

Another report by CNN states that the Senate intelligence committee has put in a request to be told what was said during the meeting between Trump and Lavrov.

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