Ousted FBI director James Comey is willing to testify

Senator John Cornyn speaks during an interfaith memorial service for Dallas officers killed during the July 7 ambush

Senator John Cornyn speaks during an interfaith memorial service for Dallas officers killed during the July 7 ambush

On March 20, FBI Director James Comey testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee, saying: "I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts".

Schiff went on to criticize Trump's tweeted threats to stop holding press briefings altogether because, the President said, his staff can't always be expected to communicate information with "perfect accuracy".

Critics have assailed Trump for dismissing the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief just as the agency is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and possible Moscow ties to the Trump presidential campaign. When Trump then pressed for "honest loyalty", Comey told him, "You will have that", the associates said.

Once Comey uttered those words, President Donald Trump could not fire him - absent proof of criminal conduct or unethical behavior - without creating the appearance of impropriety or the appearance of undermining the investigation.

When Mason asked why Trump sent the tweet and how it should be interpreted, Spicer responded with his new favorite catchphrase "the president has nothing to add".

A description of the dinner and conversation was first reported Thursday night by The New York Times, although CNN had previously reported Comey's refusal to give Trump any assurance of personal loyalty.

Giving more details about Trump's meetings with Comey, Spicer said Trump was seeking assurances from the FBI director that he wasn't under investigation because he wanted to fight back against "the narrative" building around the Russian Federation story.

"All I want is for Comey to be honest - and I hope he will be". He said the discussions happened in two phone calls and at a dinner in which Comey was asking to keep his job.

As CNN reported, Comey's refusal to pledge loyalty is one of the reasons the President fired him, the other being the acceleration of the probe into alleged collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

A source close to Comey told NBC News that Comey "hopes there are tapes". Shutting down news briefings, the association said in a statement, "would reduce accountability, transparency, and the opportunity for Americans to see that, in the USA system, no political figure is above being questioned".

The initial, official White House version of how and why Comey was sacked was that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, fresh on the job, wrote a memo expressing concern about the way Comey had handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The president said he never pressured Comey into dropping the FBI investigation, and added that there was no "collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians". "The tweet speaks for itself", Spicer said.

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