Senators to ask about Trump pushback on Russia investigation

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The Senate Intelligence Committee began two days of highly anticipated hearings Wednesday that could shed new light on the state of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election. "For the reasons discussed above, I did not mention that the President broached the FBI's potential investigation of General Flynn". The president said "he had nothing to do with Russia", denied a salacious and controversial report about his interactions in Russia, "and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia".

He, along with several other Republicans, are likely to cast doubt on the seriousness of Trump's requests to Comey about Flynn's status in the investigation.

During a final phone call between the two, Mr Trump asked why Mr Comey hadn't gotten the word out that the President wasn't personally being investigated, to which Mr Comey said that he had sent the request along to the Justice Department but hadn't heard back. Director Andrew McCabe, who was then his deputy-all of whom could corroborate his testimony on Thursday.

"My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship", Comey wrote. Comey recounted another phone conversation he had with Trump on March 30 regarding the Russian Federation investigation.

56 percent of those surveyed say Trump is trying to interfere with investigations of possible Russian influence in the election, compared to 34 percent who say he is cooperating.

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"In the three-plus years I have been director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate", Rogers said. On Thursday, Comey will get a chance to fill in some of the blanks with his own account. "I replied only that 'he is a good guy.' (In fact, I had a positive experience dealing with Mike Flynn when he was a colleague as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the beginning of my term at Federal Bureau of Investigation.) I did not say I would 'let this go'". Burr has strongly praised Comey in the past for his cooperation with the committee, and unlike Trump, has strongly criticized Russian Federation for intervening in the election and in the elections of allies France and Germany.

Comey said he prepared memos from each of the meetings with Trump, writing he "can recall" nine one-on-one conversations in four months, three in person and six on the phone.

The poll comes just a day before Comey's scheduled testimony in the US Congress.

The testimony appeared to bolster the case of Trump critics who believe that the President may have obstructed justice and abused his power in his dealings with Comey, who he later fired. Feinstein previously criticized Comey for his handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's email, but can be expected to have a very different focus this time around. Any such interactions, Comey believed, were inappropriate, and he anxious that the president lacked an appreciation for the independence of the F.B.I. He is a good guy. The president frequently calls the story "fake news" and "made up".

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