I was going to fire Comey no matter what

Trump also thanked Comey in the letter informing him of his dismissal, for assuring the president he wasn't the target of a probe on three separate occasions.

Mr. Trump calls them hypocrites.

"I was going to fire Comey".

But there is something else at stake here besides the extent of Trump ties with Russian meddling: Federal Bureau of Investigation independence.

Mr Trump has dismissed the Russian Federation probe as a "charade", a claim directly contradicted by Mr Comey's successor.

President Trump is considering a visit to the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquaters in Washington, D.C., on Friday, just days after the high-profile firing of the agency's director, a top White House aide told Fox News. He also emphasized that he himself has high respect for Comey, saying that working with him was "the greatest honor and privilege of my professional life".

"I said, "If it is possible, would you let me know [if] I am under investigation"?" "[Comey] said, 'You are not under investigation, '" according to Trump's account.

And overall, McCabe maintained that the investigation would continue despite Comey's dismissal.

McCabe told senators it is not standard FBI practice to tell people if they are under investigation.

A day after a White House spokeswoman called the FBI's Russian Federation investigation "probably one of the smallest things that they've got going on their plate, ' McCabe disagreed, calling it "a highly significant investigation". Definitive answers to these questions haven't appeared in media reports, either. One official said Trump asked Rosenstein and Sessions for their views on Comey, then asked the deputy attorney general to synthesize his thoughts in a memo.

Trump calls for 'good shutdown' to fix mess in Senate
The funds would also not be included in calculating the starting point for future negotiations over defense spending. Democrats say House Republicans up for re-election next year will face a backlash from voters over the bill.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not mean to imply that President Donald Trump would visit the government agency that's a few blocks to the East of the White House today or tomorrow. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, asked McCabe. He emphasised that the director's firing was "my decision".

Democrats said MNr Trump's move echoed the Watergate scandal of the 1970s that eventually prompted the resignation of Richard Nixon as president. Instead, they've ramped up their calls for a special prosecutor to take over the Trump-Russia case - a decision that lies exclusively in the hands of Rosenstein.

The Trump administration has said Comey's firing was unrelated to the Russian Federation investigation.

"It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the presidential decision to remove Director Comey is related to this investigation, and that is truly unacceptable", said Sen.

"I mean he told me that", the president said.

The Senate probe is one of three US investigations into Russian interference in the election. Gore had harsher words for the manner in which Trump fired Comey, which he called "atrocious".

Mr. Trump has violated so numerous norms of the office of President that some people may see this latest insult as of a piece. The Senate must not roll over for the president on this confirmation.

Comey had said during a congressional hearing in March that he saw no evidence to support that claim.

McCabe's testimony contradicted the White House on two key points.

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