Russian Federation probe turns to possible cover-up as investigation reaches White House

US President Donald Trump told visiting Russian diplomats that firing "nut job" Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey had relieved "great pressure", say US reports.

Now, he'll have the opportunity to talk not just about Russian Federation investigation, but why Trump fired him.

The New York Times reported today that Trump told Russian diplomats in the Oval Office that Comey's firing had relieved pressure on the White House amid the ongoing Russia investigation. Rather, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told the Times the pressure Trump was referring to was on his administration's "ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".

The NYT noted that a government official briefed on the meeting said the president was deploying a negotiating tactic "to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov - on Syria, Ukraine and other issues - by saying that Russian meddling in last year's election had created enormous political problems for Mr. Trump".

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, did not dispute the account. "Moreover, the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it". The White House has claimed memos from Mr Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions were crucial in persuading Mr Trump to fire Mr Comey. Comey, who headed the FBI's now-criminal investigation into the same events, declined to do so. "Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations", he added. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. The president who fired him is trying to put a politician into his shoes.

Trump added, "I'm not under investigation".

Trump's trip, which also includes stops in Israel, Italy and Belgium next week, has been billed by the administration as a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world's major religions while giving him time to meet with Arab, Israeli and European leaders.

She said subjects of the investigation could later argue that its results cannot be trusted, but she believes the argument would not stand up in court. The White House has given different versions of the reasons for the dismissal.

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

The Post said its sources would not further identify the official, who was described as a person close to President Trump.

Mueller's former colleagues at WilmerHale, James Quarles and Aaron Zebley, are expected to join his investigation, according to a spokeswoman for the law firm.

Vnesheconombank handles development for the state, and in early 2015, a man purporting to be one of its New York-based employees was arrested and accused of being an unregistered spy. He had been in contact with former Trump adviser Carter Page, though Page has said he shared only "basic immaterial information and publicly available research documents" with the Russian.

Burr says the committee wants to hear from Comey on his role in the development of the US intelligence agencies' assessment that Russian Federation interfered in last year's election.

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