Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Comey agrees to testify before Senate intelligence committee

President Trump embarks on his first worldwide trip as commander-in-chief on Friday amid a slew of bad headlines that have shaken the White House.

Ousted FBI Director James Comey will testify in a public hearing before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee after Memorial Day, the panel announced Friday.

The newspaper cited unnamed sources familiar with the probe as saying a current top White House official has been identified as a "significant person of interest", without disclosing the name of the person.

As previously reported on The Root, President Donald Trump fired Comey on May 9.

The White House has struggled to explain the chain of events that led to Mr Comey's firing and exactly who made the decision. Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said he expects Comey to "shed light on issues critical to this committee's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election".

US President Donald Trump will not announce the new director of the coveted Federal Bureau of Investigation ahead of his maiden foreign trip beginning today, the White House has said.

An Obama-era White House staffer said: "This was a five-alarm fire from early on, the way the Russians were talking about him".

"By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage with Russian Federation", press secretary Sean Spicer said in the statement.

Robert Mueller, the newly appointed special counsel to investigate Russia's influence in the 2016 election, potentially carries conflicts of interest with him into the investigation.

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"The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it", Spicer said, adding that the real story was the leaks of "private and highly classified conversations".

Questions about the FBI's ongoing Russian Federation investigation dominated a joint press conference with Colombia President Juan Manual Santos.

Spicer offered a new explanation for that firing, saying that Trump had been trying to improve relations with Russian Federation - and Comey got in the way.

Both Mr Warner and the committee's chairman, Richard Burr, indicated they were looking forward to Mr Comey's testimony about Russian interference in the 8 November presidential elections that saw Mr Trump secure the White House by scoring the electoral college, though Democratic rival Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.

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

A Washington Post investigation revealed someone close to President Trump could be called into hearings as swirling controversy threatens to derail the Republican firebrand's political ambitions. In the Oval Office weeks later, Comey told associates, the president asked him to shut down an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

My statement on news former FBI Director Comey will not testify before the @senjudiciary Committee.

Trump wrote on Twitter that the inquiry "is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

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.

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