4 in the running — New FBI chief

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Demonstrators, including mothers with the organization Moms Rising, march during a protest as they attempt to deliver miniature Statue of Liberty figures to government officials in support of diversity and immigrant rights outside the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, May 12, 2017.

The search is on for a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director following President Donald Trump's abrupt sacking of Mr James Comey last week.

But Burr said he expects Comey will soon speak privately with members of the committee.

"James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

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As has happened on previous occasions since Trump took office, different versions rapidly circulated of an event - in this case phone conversations between Comey and Trump and a dinner they had at the White House. "As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with ideal accuracy!" he tweeted.

The former intelligence chief also dismissed Trump's assertion that the Russian Federation investigation is "fake news", and indirectly issued some advice to the White House to cooperate with the inquiry. "When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?"

When asked whether he could announce a nominee by Friday, when he is scheduled to leave for the Middle East and Europe on his first trip overseas as president, Trump responded, "Even that is possible".

"Well that I can't talk about".

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During his testimony, McCabe contradicted the White House's assertion that the President "and the rest of the FBI" had lost confidence in Comey.

The committee had hoped to hear from Comey in a closed session following his abrupt firing on Tuesday by President Donald Trump.

US intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign of interference in the election aimed at tilting the vote in Trump's favor. "I actually asked him, yes".

"I don't know if there was collusion or not", Clapper said in an interview on MSNBC. "I'm not under investigation". In the NBC interview on Thursday, Trump said he would have fired Comey regardless of any such recommendations.

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CNN said Comey is "not anxious about any tapes" Trump may have, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter. Comey has not explicitly denied the account. At a one-on-one dinner at the White House in January, Trump asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to the president and Comey declined, instead offering to be honest with him, according the person, who requested anonymity to discuss private conservations. Comey, they said, declined to make such a pledge but told Trump he would always give him "honesty". The FBI typically does not confirm their existence. "In fact when I chose to just do it, I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won", the Republican president told NBC. Trump said Comey wanted to have the dinner because he wanted to stay on in the job.

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