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Donald Trump invited to testify over James Comey, Russian meddling

LiveMint logoLiveMint 12-06-2017 PTI

Washington: US President Donald Trump has been invited by a top Democratic leader to testify before the Senate over his relationship with sacked FBI chief James Comey and the probe into the alleged Russian meddling in the US polls.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, responding to Trump’s statement last week that he would “100%” speak under oath about the Comey affair, said he would like the president to testify in public before the Senate. Trump’s assertion came after he branded Comey as a “leaker” and claimed “total and complete vindication” after ousted FBI director’s testimony before a senate committee.

“I think we could work out a way it could be dignified, public, with questions, with leader (Mitch) McConnell,” Schumer told CBS News. The New York Democrat added that the Senate would also consult with special counsel Robert Mueller, who has taken the lead on a wide-ranging investigation into the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Trump’s pledge to offer sworn testimony to Mueller came in a press conference the day after Comey’s testimony before the Senate intelligence committee.

The former FBI director detailed “disturbing” interactions with Trump that led to his firing on 9 May. Comey had last week said that he believed Trump asked him to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, which Trump has denied. Comey also said he thinks Trump fired him over the Russia investigation. The president had said Comey’s testimony vindicates his assertion that Trump himself was not personally under the investigation.

However, Trump and his attorney have disputed Comey’s other assertions, including his claim that the president sought a pledge of loyalty. Schumer on Sunday also said he would like to clear up the matter of whether Trump does indeed have tapes of his conversations with Comey, as the president has suggested. “Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey had said on Thursday.

“If there aren’t tapes [Trump] should let that be known. No more game playing,” Schumer said.

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