White House, Trump allies prepare for fallout from Comey testimoney

The nation's intelligence chiefs, facing questions from Congress one day before former FBI Director James Comey provides his first public account of the events leading up to his firing, declined to describe conversations with President Donald Trump but said they had not been directed to do anything they considered illegal or felt pressured to do so.

Former FBI director James Comey testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing on Capitol Hill on May 3, 2017. He said he kept details of the incident "closely held" because he did not want to "infect the investigative team" with Trump's request.

CLARIFICATION: This article has been revised to clarify that the conversations between Comey and Trump were nuanced.

Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department declined to comment on the story. "I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russian Federation or possible links to his campaign", Comey wrote, calling it very concerning.

The Washington Post's politics correspondent Robert Costa revealed in a tweet that President Trump may take to social media if he "feels the need to respond" to anything Comey says during his testimony.

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Reporters and congressional aides still recall, from memory, exact passages from Comey's 2007 congressional testimony about racing up the steps of a hospital to interdict George W. Bush White House officials seeking to bypass him in a surveillance dispute and get to the ailing attorney general, John Ashcroft.

Since then, Green has said he has received messages from people saying that "they would lynch me, and I take that to mean murder me".

All of this unfolding, not just outside the White House, but within the West Wing, too.

White House officials had weighed trying to block Comey from testifying by arguing that his discussions with the president pertained to national security and that there was an expectation of privacy.

Wittes, Comey's friend, wrote recently that Comey "did tell me in general terms that early on, Trump had "asked for loyalty" and that Comey had promised him only honesty".

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Democrats have accused Trump of firing Comey to upend the FBI's Russian Federation probe, which focused in large part on whether campaign aides coordinated with Moscow to hack Democratic groups during the election.

The two refused to comply with the request, which they regarded as inappropriate, the Post report said. Eric Trump said the allegation that his father's campaign colluded with Russian Federation is "the greatest hoax of all time". Comey replied, "He is a good guy".

An ad created by the pro-Trump Great America Alliance - a nonprofit "issues" group that isn't required to disclose its donors - casts Comey as a "showboat" who was "consumed with election meddling" instead of focusing on combating terrorism.

After allegedly discussing with colleagues the commander-in-chief's extraordinary proposal to subvert the Bureau's ongoing investigation, however, Coats reportedly chose to reject it as inappropriate.

Comey's highly anticipated appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday (Friday NZT) could be a turning point in a controversy that has rocked Trump's young administration.

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"He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia", Comey's prepared statement says. The president frequently calls the story "fake news" and "made up".

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