Trump, after House panel subpoenas, backs probing Obama administration

U.S. President Donald Trump interacts with reporters as he welcomes Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in the Oval Office at the Whit

Former FBI Director James Comey is headed to Capitol Hill next week to share details of his conversations with the president as part of the Senate's Russian Federation probe.

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify in open session before the Senate intelligence committee next week, officials announced Thursday.

The timing of Comey's firing, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation probes possible collusion between Trump's presidential campaign team and Russia's attempts to influence the election, has stirred controversy, even among some members of Trump's party.

A spokeswoman for the committee's chairman, Sen.

The former NSA director had a remarkably short tenure. Trump denies that the interaction happened. Officials only "unmask" the identities of Americans for certain reasons - for example, if the name of a person is needed to understand the intelligence being provided. A senior committee aide said Wednesday's subpoenas were not part of the Russian Federation probe.

Committee aides complained he had acted unilaterally, and the top Democrat on the panel, Representative Adam Schiff, said Nunes' actions amounted to a breach of his recusal decision.

On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin said the Russian state has never been involved in hacking, and claimed individual "patriotic" hackers may have carried out attacks during the U.S. election previous year. Any such requests undergo rigorous legal reviews, and US officials have said all such requests under Obama, a Democrat, were conducted properly.

USA intelligence agencies have accused Russian Federation of hacking into Democratic Party emails, helping President Donald Trump's election victory.

Also Wednesday, the House intelligence panel approved subpoenas for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump attorney Michael Cohen and several others.

At a Wednesday briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said inquiries about the Russian Federation investigation must be directed to Trump's longtime personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer referred questions about Comey's upcoming testimony to Trump's outside counsel while speaking to reporters on Wednesday. Also, the U.S. Department of Justice recently appointed a special counsel.

Russian officials had pledged to wait for Trump to take office before reacting but last month said they might retaliate.

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