Former FBI Director James Comey agrees to testify before Senate intelligence committee

Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify before the Senate intelligence committee after Memorial Day.

The committee's chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, and the ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner, announced Friday that Comey will testify in an open setting before the committee. 

The date of the hearing has not yet been set.

Burr says the committee wants to hear from Comey on his role in the development of the U.S. intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia interfered in last year's election. 

He says he hopes Comey's testimony will answer some of the questions that have arisen since Comey was suddenly dismissed last week by President Donald Trump.

Meantime, The New York Times has reported Trump told Russian diplomats that firing the "nut job'' FBI director had relieved "great pressure'' on him.

The newspaper cited the White House's official written account of the Oval Office meeting. 

It said one official had read quotations to the Times and another had confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.

Friday's report quotes Trump calling ousted FBI Director James Comey "crazy'' and "a real nut job.'' 

It said the president then told Russia's foreign minister and ambassador that he "faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off.''

Trump met with the Russians on May 10, the day after he fired Comey.

As well, The Washington Post has reported a current senior White House adviser is under scrutiny as part of an investigation into possible co-ordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The newspaper citied unidentified people familiar with the investigation. 

The adviser under scrutiny is not named, but described as someone close to Trump.

The Post says the revelation comes as the investigation appears to be entering a more open and active phase, with investigators conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas.

Current administration officials who have acknowledged contacts with Russian officials include Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.