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Richard Burr: James Comey 'looking forward' to testifying

Richard Burr, left, and James Comey (AP and Getty Images photos via ABC News)

Former FBI Director James Comey is "looking forward to having the opportunity to publicly share his thoughts and views" at Thursday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Chairman Richard Burr said Monday.

Burr, a North Carolina Republican who last spoke to Comey on Saturday, said Comey will be free to discuss his interactions with President Donald Trump and the investigation into Russian election interference, and that he was cleared to do so by special counsel Robert Mueller III.

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"They've talked, and I understand the special counsel has not fenced him off in any way, shape or form on the items he intends to talk about," said Burr.

Trump told NBC News he fired Comey in part because of the "Russia thing," which he called a "made-up story."

Comey, who was leading the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, was allegedly asked by Trump to end an investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn, according to a memo Comey wrote about his encounter with Trump.

The New York Times first reported the memo, which was confirmed to ABC News by a source close to Comey.

Burr also said his committee has begun receiving documents from Flynn, whose business interactions with Russian officials have come under scrutiny.

The House and Senate Intelligence Committee have both subpoenaed Flynn.

Comey's appearance before the committee will be his first opportunity to discuss his encounters with Trump publicly since his surprise firing on May 9.

"We have seen these reports that are attributed to Comey, and the questions are going to be about if that's how it happened. No one has heard from him directly -- this will be the first time. That's what the whole hearing is going to be about," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told ABC News in an interview.

ABC News' Mary Bruce contributed to this report.

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