Burr, Warner pledge to continue Russian Federation investigation amid FBI shakeup

Trump campaign

Fired FBI Director James Comey told the heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee that the Russian Federation investigation had stalled because of a lack of prosecution resources from the Justice Department, in part because the job of deputy attorney general had been vacant so long, say Congressional and law enforcement officials.

But Trump contradicted that narrative on Thursday when he told NBC News that "regardless of the recommendation, I was going to fire Comey". "He's a showboat. He's a grandstander", the president said of Comey.

In another remarkable revelation in the interview - for which there is no current proof - Trump said he asked Comey directly to tell him, if "possible", whether he is under investigation.

In a memo, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein found fault in the way Comey handled the conclusion of the investigation of Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

Trump was also asked about the decision to include Comey's assurances that Trump wasn't under investigation in his letter.

"Regardless of [the] recommendation I was going to fire Comey", Trump said. "It's not my place to say I agree or disagree".

"I don't think an Federal Bureau of Investigation director has any business, in the end, making announcements on prosecutions, and whether prosecutions go forward", said Christie.

"I know that I'm not under investigation".

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He also said that he was the one who asked about the investigation. "When you're under investigation, you're given all sorts of documents", he said. "I want the investigation speeded up".

"That is not accurate, " McCabe said in a response to a senator's question about the White House assertions.

But Trump also insisted that there was no "collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians".

He said he thought the investigation "should be over with, in my opinion, should have been over with a long time ago". But I told myself, I have to do the right thing for the American people. "He's [Comey] the wrong man for that position".

While Warner called the meeting a "productive session", he told reporters he still had concerns about Rosenstein in terms of his exact role in Comey's departure.

McCabe was a last-minute substitute for Comey at the Senate hearing, which was supposed to bring together the heads of the major intelligence agencies to outline security threats from around the globe, an annual report mandated by Congress. "He was not doing a good job".

During testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday, Comey's interim replacement, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe declined to comment on Trump's claims about his conversations with Comey. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president did not make the "final decision" to remove Comey until Tuesday - though he considered firing him since he took office in January.

NPR's Jessica Taylor contributed.

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