Trump Told Russians Firing 'Nut Job' Comey Relieved Pressure on Him

Global stocks rally at end of volatile week

The Times said the document was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office.

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify publicly before the Senate intelligence committee, committee leaders announced Friday.

Another government official who spoke to The Times said Trump was using a "negotiating tactic" with Lavrov when he explained the "pressure" he faced.

"By grandstanding and politicising the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia", White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. "By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation", he said.

That does absolutely nothing to help Trump with the pervasive speculation that he fired Comey because of the investigation into his Russian ties.

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

The latest developments come at an inopportune for Trump who just embarked on a nine-day worldwide trip, his first trip overseas since assuming office. The trip is seen by some analysts as a chance for Trump to hit reset after more than a week of intense controversy in Washington in the wake of the Comey firing.

For more of Liasson's summary from this week of USA political news, use the audio player above.

In a statement Mr Spicer said Mr Comey's pursuit of the probe had harmed Mr Trump's ability to deal with Russian Federation over issues including Syria and Ukraine.

The individual was described by the paper as a senior adviser who is close to the president, but the Post's sources would not further identify them.

Mr. Trump said: "I'm not under investigation".

Capping days of political drama in Washington, Mueller's appointment came as Trump fends off a stunning series of allegations including claims he shared U.S. secrets with Russian officials in the Oval Office.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said Rosenstein told senators that he knew Comey would be fired before he wrote his letter accusing him of missteps as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, including his handling of an election-year probe into Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly informed members of Congress of this on Friday, according to McClatchy.

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