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Comey to testify in public before Senate Intelligence Committee

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"The committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former director on his role in the development of the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections", he said.

Comey has not spoken publicly since President Donald Trump abruptly fired him less than two weeks ago amid his agency's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump camapaign and Russian officials.

The announcement late Friday from committee Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat, came hours after the Washington Post reported that the FBI's Russian Federation investigation had identified a senior White House adviser close to the president as a significant person of interest.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported Friday that the probe into possible collusion between the Trump camp and Russian Federation had reached the highest levels of the president's administration, with investigators reportedly pegging a current White House official as a significant person of interest.

Hours before the committee announced Comey would testify, a new report said Trump told Russian diplomats that Comey's firing alleviated "great pressure" brought on by the probe.

On Wednesday, a White House official told CNN that Comey's memo was incorrect, and that he had recalled the conversation inaccurately. "Moreover, the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it", Warner said.

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The Times cites a document read to the paper by an unnamed US official which summarizes the scandal-ridden May 10 Oval Office meeting between Trump, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Moscow's ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

The president himself labeled the ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation probe a "witch hunt" this week after the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to oversee it in the wake of Comey's firing. Trump has denied the allegation.

But it appears Comey has chosen to testify just once more before Congress.

"I'm not under investigation". Trump also called Comey a "nut job".

House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah announced a hearing next week for Comey to testify, but he did so before he had even made contact with Comey.

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