AMERICAN President Donald Trump has called his ex-FBI director James Comey "very cowardly' even as it emerged he reportedly bottled out of a UK state visit over fears of mass protests.

Mr Trump attacked Mr Comey in a Sunday morning tweet after the ex-FBI director gave evidence to the US Senate Intelligence Committee this week suggesting Mr Trump had tried to pressure him in to stopping an investigation in to his former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn.

Former FBI Director details meetings with Trump.
Former FBI Director details meetings with Trump.

During his evidence Mr Comey admitted that he had been behind a leak to the New York Times of this conversation with Mr Trump.

In his tweet Mr Trump said: "I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'"

Mr Trump had earlier said that Mr Comey's evidence involved "false statements and lies" and claimed his appearance was a "total and complete vindication" even though Mr Comey told the committee Mr Trump demanded his loyalty several times and pushed him to end the ongoing probe in to Mr Flynn.

Meanwhile, it emerged on Sunday that Mr Trump has snubbed his state visit to the UK. Mr Trump was said to have told Prime Minister Theresa May he would not come to the UK if there are likely to be large scale protests against him.

 

Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn
Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn EPA/Andrew Harrer

The Guardian reports the pair spoke about the issue over the phone within the last few weeks, with Mr Trump saying he would not visit until the country welcomes him. A date was yet to be fixed for his visit.

However Mrs May's office said on Sunday there has been no change of plan regarding the state visit.

"We aren't going to comment on speculation about the contents of private phone conversations," a spokeswoman for May's office said.

"The queen extended an invitation to President Trump to visit the UK and there is no change to those plans."

The White House also denied the Guardian report, with an administration official telling Reuters: "The subject never came up on the call." No date has been set for the visit, which was agreed during May's visit to Washington in January, but British media had reported it was planned for October.

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up
President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up

The report of Mr Trump's reticence comes after he caused mass upset in the aftermath of the London terror attack last Saturday, when he took to Twitter to criticise Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for pleading with his people to stay calm.

Mr Khan engaged in a bitter argument with the President, accusing him of taking his quotes out of context, and called on the PM to cancel his visit. His call was backed by a number of other high profile figures in Britain.

Mrs May invited Mr Trump and his wife to the UK on a state visit just seven days after he was elected last year.

She travelled to Washington to meet Mr Trump in what was reported as a sign that the UK-US relationship was stronger than ever.

But since then there have been a number of calls for the visit to be called off after Mr Trump introduced a series of controversial policy measures. The UK Government is yet to comment.


CONWAY CAUGHT OUT SLAMMING COLLEAGUES

Meanwhile, one of Mr Trump's top advisers has reportedly been caught out mocking her own colleagues.

Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway was overheard poking fun at fellow Trump staff, including Chief of Staff Reince Priebus at a Washington, DC, party.
 

ounselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, center, arrives for a White House senior staff swearing in ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
ounselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, center, arrives for a White House senior staff swearing in ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A fellow guest at the party set up a Twitter account to spread the gory details.

"She had a good/cruel riff mocking @Reince45 in WH staff meetings," according to one tweet on the @KellyanneLeaks Twitter feed. " 'No leaks guuuys' she said, mimicking him in a dopey voice."

She also allegedly chatted about fallout from the Senate testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, which had taken place earlier in the day.

"She said Trump told her to say 'Jim Comey will have to wait and see about the tapes'; she added 'I chose to convert that to 'no comment.' "

Ms Conway "held court for an hour or so," the snoop tweeted, adding that she talked "loudly."


SESSIONS TO APPEAR BEFORE SENATE

Meanwhile, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has agreed to appear before the US Senate Intelligence committee this week.

The former Alabama senator was an early supporter of Donald Trump, and Mr Sessions' contacts during the campaign with Russia's ambassador to the United States have raised questions.

 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has denied reports he discussed campaign issues with Russian officials. Picture: MSNBC.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has denied reports he discussed campaign issues with Russian officials. Picture: MSNBC.

Back in March, Mr Sessions stepped aside from overseeing a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign after he acknowledged meeting twice last year with the Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak.

Mr Sessions had told lawmakers at his confirmation hearing in January that he hadn't met with Russians during the campaign. Mr Sessions has been dogged by questions about possible additional encounters with the ambassador.

A Democratic senator said on Sunday he expects tough questions for Mr Sessions about his involvement in the firing of Mr Comey when he testifies on Tuesday.

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island is an ex officio member of the Senate Intelligence committee.

Mr Reed told Fox News "there's a real question of the propriety" of Mr Sessions' involvement in Mr Comey's dismissal, since Mr Sessions had recused himself from the federal probe into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign.

It is not yet known whether Mr Sessions will testify to the committee in public or private.
 

ATTORNEY: 'THERE'S EVIDENCE OF OBSTRUCTION'

Also on Sunday, a former top US Attorney said that "absolutely evidence" exists to launch an obstruction of justice case against Mr Trump.

"I think there's absolutely evidence to begin a case - I think it's very important for all sorts of armchair speculators in the law, to be clear that no one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction," Preet Bharara, the former New York City federal prosecutor, said on US ABC's This Week. "It's also true … that there's no basis to say there's no obstruction."

Mr Bharara, who was fired by Trump in March, said he was made uncomfortable by one-on-one interactions with the president - just like Mr Comey was.

According to reports, Bharara on 11 March 2017 said he had not submitted in his resignation the previous day. Preet Bharara is one the 46 public preosecutors who were ordered by US President Trump to immediately resign. Source: AAP.
According to reports, Bharara on 11 March 2017 said he had not submitted in his resignation the previous day. Preet Bharara is one the 46 public preosecutors who were ordered by US President Trump to immediately resign. Source: AAP.

He said that he thinks Mr Trump was trying to "cultivate some kind of relationship" with him.

Mr Bharara says he found it "very weird and peculiar" to be drawn into private conversations with the president.

Mr Bharara says Mr Trump called him twice before the inauguration, to "shoot the breeze." Mr Trump reached out again as president but Mr Bharara says he refused to return the call, because he considered these contacts inappropriate.

Mr Bharara was asked for his resignation, along with other US attorneys but he refused and was fired.

News Corp Australia


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