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Comey agrees to testify in open hearing before Senate Intelligence Committee

Christine Wang
The committee said it plans to schedule the hearing for after Memorial Day.

The Senate Intelligence Committee said ousted FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify in an open session.

The committee said in a late Friday statement that it plans to schedule the hearing for after Memorial Day.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election and any possible links between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

Sen. Richard Burr , chairman of the committee, said he hopes that Comey's testimony "will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media."

Sen. Mark Warner , vice chairman of the committee, said he expects the former FBI director to "shed light on issues critical" to the committee's investigation. The Virginia Democrat also said he hopes that Comey will answer some of the questions following his sudden dismissal.

"Director Comey served his country with honor for many years, and he deserves an opportunity to tell his story. Moreover, the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it," Warner said in a statement.

Since Comey was abruptly fired by Donald Trump, reports have surfaced suggesting a tense relationship between the former FBI director and the president.

Earlier Friday, The New York Times reported that Trump told top Russian officials that Comey was a "nut job" and that his termination relieved "great pressure." The newspaper also reported that the president had expressed his wishes that Comey could let go of the investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

In a Thursday conference, Trump flatly denied that he ever made such a suggestion.

"No. No ... next question," Trump said when asked during a joint news conference with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos if he had, in any way, tried to influence the probe. In a reported memo, Comey allegedly says Trump asked him to let the probe into Flynn go.

— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

Watch: House Oversight Committee asks Comey to testify