In an explosive report that was immediately denied by the Trump administration, the Times reported earlier this week that the president had urged Comey to drop an investigation into the Russian Federation ties of his sacked national security adviser Michael Flynn.
But Comey has declined to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which also extended him an invitation to testify, according to that committee's chairman and ranking member.
The new headlines were a fresh indication that Trump would not be able to change the subject from what appears to be an intensifying investigation reaching toward the president and his inner circle.
Two more bombshell reports published Friday afternoon delivered a one-two punch to the Trump White House regarding the investigation into its potential ties to Russian Federation, capping off a week where each day dealt a fresh blockbuster blow to the administration.
The Justice Department says Mueller, the new special counsel, has been given sweeping power to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, including potential links between Moscow and Trump associates.
Trump tells Russians that firing James Comey eased pressure as he was a "real nut job".
"I just fired the head of the F.B.I.", The New York Times reported Friday afternoon.
The report cited notes from a May 10 Oval Office meeting - the day after Mr Trump fired Mr Comey. Rather, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told the Times the pressure Trump was referring to was on his administration's "ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".
"As the president has stated before - a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity", said spokesman Sean Spicer.
Republicans were more reluctant to share details of the briefing, citing its classified nature, but they said they expected Congress to continue its own investigations.
While the White House initially pointed to a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, outlining Comey's mismanagement of the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's private email server, as the impetus for his termination, Trump later admitted that the Russian Federation investigation - which he has called a "hoax" - played a role.
Trump has called the investigation of his presidential campaign's ties with Russian Federation a "witch hunt".
Another on the condition of anonymity confirmed the quotes from the said document.
On Thursday, Trump lashed out over the appointment of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller as the special counsel to probe Trump-Russia ties, saying that it "divides country".
Following outcry over Comey's dismissal, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the federal probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing.
There have been couple of allegations against Trump this week, including that he may have obstructed justice by asking Comey to drop an investigation into one of his top advisors.