Senators to ask about Trump pushback on Russian Federation investigation

As the nation awaits former FBI Director James Comey's impending testimony before Congress, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the president might not even watch.

Flynn is a central figure in the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.

Before he was sacked, Comey's associates have said, he had carefully rebuffed what he interpreted as requests from Trump to stop the FBI investigation of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign in February after officials said he had lied about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

"I would expect him to hew pretty closely to facts and events", said Jack Sharman, a partner at Lightfoot, Franklin and White and former special counsel to a congressional committee that investigated President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

The day after the report, Coats declined to answer whether it was true - but Coats also teased that he may be open to answering the question if asked by the right committee.

President Donald Trump, left, greets House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La., before the start of a meeting with House and Senate Leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

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U.S. surveillance practices have come under increased scrutiny amid unsubstantiated assertions by Trump and other Republicans that the White House under former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, improperly spied on Trump or his associates.

The White House has repeatedly denied that Trump tried to press Comey to end the investigation into Flynn or otherwise impeded the Russian Federation investigation.

He began complaining about the FBI investigation into Russian Federation and Comey's handling of it, which led to him asking the DNI to intervene.

Trump's son, Eric Trump, repeated that claim Tuesday in an interview with ABC News.

Adding to the drama, a top-secret NSA report leaked to online news outlet The Intercept shows that hackers from Russian military intelligence repeatedly tried to break into United States voting systems before last year's presidential election.

"Don't you like the suspense?"

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Comey is likely to face withering questioning from some Republicans intent on defending the president and poking holes in Comey's interpretation of his conversations with Trump.

Keen to crack down on leaks, the Trump administration quickly announced the arrest of a 25-year-old intelligence contractor on charges she violated the espionage act.

Comey's testimony marks his first public comments since he was abruptly ousted by Trump on May 9. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN.

Republican committee member Senator Roy Blunt said he welcomed Comey's testimony, but warned there could be "a big problem" if the ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation boss is too restrictive in his responses.

The White House had suggested Trump could invoke executive privilege to protect the confidentiality of presidential discussions, but some aides were wary that may appear like a cover-up.

Two legal experts said Comey would seek to avoid compromising a new inquiry led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller or separate congressional investigations.

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