The Latest: Russian Lawmaker Scoffs at Comey Testimony

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey (all times local):

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5:20 a.m.

A senior Russian lawmaker has dismissed the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey as insignificant.

Comey, who testified before a Senate committee on Thursday, asserted that President Donald Trump had fired him to interfere with an investigation of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign and reaffirmed the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the election.

Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the information policy committee at the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, dismissed Comey’s testimony as a “big bubble,” adding that it “will not help Trump’s adversaries to start impeachment proceedings.”

Russian officials have vehemently denied any role in hacking attacks on the Democratic National Convention and voter-registration databases.

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4:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump will take questions from reporters a day after former FBI Director James Comey accused him of lying in stunning testimony.

Trump has scheduled a joint news conference for Friday afternoon with visiting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

He’ll also be participating in an infrastructure event at the Department of Transportation and holding meetings with his Romanian counterpart before departing for New Jersey, where he’ll spend the weekend at one if his properties.

Comey asserted Thursday that Trump fired him because of the ongoing investigation into possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. Comey also bluntly accused the White House of spreading “lies, plain and simple.”

Trump has been unusually silent on Twitter and declined to answer shouted questions from reporters Thursday about the testimony.

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3:35 a.m.

Former FBI Director James Comey has laid bare months of White House distrust in highly anticipated testimony before Congress.

Comey accused the administration of spreading “lies” and bluntly asserted that President Donald Trump had fired him to interfere with an investigation of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign. His gripping account of interactions with Trump underscored the discord that soured their relationship.

Facing a Senate committee Thursday, Comey portrayed Trump as dismissive of the FBI’s independence. He also made clear that he interpreted Trump’s request to end an investigation into his former national security adviser as an order coming from the president.

Comey also revealed that he’d orchestrated the public release of information about his private conversations with the president. He said it was an effort to further the investigation.

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