White House press secretary Sean Spicer commented on the Times report, reiterating the president's recent characterization of Comey as a "grandstander."
Rosenstein declined to discuss the timing of the memo and who had asked him to write it, saying the memo and its role in Comey's firing were likely to be part of the investigation, which will now be led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, whom Rosenstein appointed special counsel on Wednesday.
It said one official had read quotations to the Times and another had confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion. His testimony in front of the House of Representative may raise more questions than it answers, though, because it seems to contradict what the White House and attorney general Jeff Sessions have already said on the subject. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump said on May 10, according to the paper.
The White House repeated its assertion that a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity..
In the remarks, Rosenstein said he learned a day before Comey's firing that Trump wanted to dismiss him.
That's the second time in four days that the Times has dropped a bombshell on Trump over a memo it hasn't actually seen.
'This. Is. Obstruction. Of.
This is the first report of a person now working in the White House being included in the federal probe.
Air Force One departed from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, outside Washington, with the president, first lady Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as a group of senior advisers and journalists covering the trip.
Before the latest reports, the White House had hoped to shift attention away from the political firestorm in Washington to foreign policy as well as the president's ambitious pro-business economic agenda in Congress.
She said it's a "ridiculous statement" for Trump to make and results in "elevating the Russians as his confidante at the expense of our justice system".
He then added: "I'm not under investigation".
But, wait, there was more: Comey, the Senate Intelligence Committee said Friday evening, has agreed to publicly testify before it some time after Memorial Day.
"We're extremely disappointed in James Comey's decision not to testify voluntarily before the Judiciary Committee", said Chairman Chuck Grassley and the panel's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, urging Comey to reconsider. The date of the hearing has not yet been set.
President Trump was hit with another set of Russia-related allegations late Friday moments after departing on his first foreign trip as commander-in-chief, with one report claiming the president trash-talked James Comey in a meeting with Moscow dignitaries and another saying the Russian Federation probe has reached a current White House official.
Michael Allen, a former senior director on the National Security Council in the George W. Bush White House, said that transcripts of meetings with foreign leaders usually "are treated like the crown jewels".
A third government official briefed on the meeting defended the president, saying Mr. Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Mr. Lavrov about the "pressure" he was under.
Flynn resigned in February after disclosures that he had lied to administration officials about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.