Donald Trump has asked FBI Director James Comey to remain in his position, according to reports.

Comey has told his top agents from around the US that the president has asked him to stay in his job running the US' top federal law-enforcement agency, reported the New York Times on Tuesday (24 January 2017).

Comey was widely criticised during the presidential election for revealing that Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton was under investigation for use of her private email server while Secretary of State.

If confirmed, Comey would remain in position while the agency investigates the links of several Trump associates to the Russian government.

Comey reportedly relayed the news in a conference call with senior employees last Wednesday (18 January).

FBI directors are appointed to 10-year terms, to reduce their susceptibility to political pressure. Comey was appointed by Barack Obama in 2013, but Trump does have the power to sack him.

Comey was widely criticised by Republicans for not bringing charges against Clinton following the first investigation into her use of a private email account in July.

He was lambasted by Democrats for revealing that a new investigation had been launched into Clinton's emails only a fortnight before the 5 November 2016 election. He announced two days before the election that Clinton would not face charges relating to the new probe.

Retiring Democrat senator Harry Reid criticised Comey for not also revealing that Trump associates were under investigation for their Russia ties ahead of the election.