Putin rushes to Trump's defense, laments US infighting

Trump removed Comey in the middle of a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged Russian interference in the the 2016 USA presidential election, and possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia.

"If in fact what was in the memo is true, it's very concerning and we need to get to the bottom of that", Kinzinger said on CNN.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he still has full confidence in President Donald Trump but that lawmakers must "follow the facts wherever they lead" as the speaker sought to tamp down Republican unease over the turmoil engulfing the White House. "I hope you can let this go".

Ryan said that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has "appropriately" requested the Comey memo.

US stocks and the dollar sold off and bond prices rallied as investors fled risky assets amid uncertainty about Trump's ability to deliver on his policy agenda, such as tax and regulatory changes. They made the recommendation over the former FBI director's handling of the investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's private email server.

It later emerged that Comey had made notes of his meetings with Trump, who reportedly asked him to quash an investigation into Flynn's contacts with foreign governments.

The tumult in Washington deepened over allegations Trump had sought to end the FBI's investigation into ties between Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russian Federation.

A Comey associate says Comey wrote a memo after his encounter with the president, and congressional committees investigating the Russian Federation ties have requested to see the memo and other related documentation.

The Wisconsin Republican was asked on his way out of a news conference whether he still had confidence in Trump, and he responded, "I do".

The White House disputed Comey's account of the February conversation concerning Flynn, but did not offer specifics.

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Republicans in Congress are trying to project a business-as-usual approach amid the chaos.

Leaders from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence invited Mr. Comey and acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to testify again, both publicly and behind closed doors.

The paper reported the Trump shared with the Russians classified information about an Islamic State plot involving the use of laptops on commercial airplanes.

Under current United States law, the president has the power to declassify information as he or she sees fit.

If the Trump administration deemed it appropriate, Putin said Russian Federation could hand over a transcript of Trump's meeting with Lavrov to USA lawmakers to reassure them that no secrets were revealed. Not with me, nor with representatives of Russia's intelligence services.

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called Mueller "a fine USA attorney, a great Federal Bureau of Investigation director and there's no better person who could be asked to perform this function".

Others are already considering leaving, and allies due to join the administration say they are holding off.

In a pair of morning Twitter posts and at a later news conference, the Republican president described urgings by some on the left for his impeachment as "ridiculous" and said he had done nothing to warrant criminal charges.

The incident, and Trump's response to it, shows he has no understanding of nor concern for the security of American citizens, one of his top responsibilities as president. "Any legal scholar out there is going to tell you that's clearly not an obstruction of justice", he said.

Trump went on to dismiss as "totally ridiculous" the notion that he himself may have committed a prosecutable - or even impeachable - offence in recent months, as argued by some critics who suspect him of obstructing the FBI's probe.

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