Comey accuses Trump of lying 'plain and simple'

Earlier Wednesday, Trump announced that he planned to nominate Christopher Wray, a former Justice Department official, as Comey's successor.

Trump fired Comey on May 9, faulting him for failing to find intelligence community leakers feeding information to the media.

Comey, who is used to not answering lawmakers' questions about ongoing investigations, is not likely to say anything Thursday that could interfere with, or undercut, the ongoing federal investigation into Russian Federation ties.

The White House's initial explanation for Comey's firing was his handling of the Clinton email investigation.

Comey said that the White House "chose to defame" him and the FBI, alleging that the bureau is in "disarray".

"Lordy, I hope there are tapes", Comey said Thursday, later urging the president to release any tapes he has.

Republican Senator Richard Burr, the panel's chairman, sought to play down the remark, saying: "I don't think it's wrong to ask for loyalty from anybody in an administration".

When asked whether confident votes had been altered, Comey said he had seen "no indication of that whatsoever". In that testimony he had already disclosed that Trump demanded his "loyalty" and directly pushed him to "lift the cloud" of investigation by declaring publicly the president was not the target of the FBI probe into his campaign's Russian Federation ties. He went on to say that no one had asked him to end the investigation.

"I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document", Comey said. "I expect loyalty." Comey based his testimony on his recollections and a series of memos composed after several meetings. I advised the Watergate special prosecutors (and argued to the Supreme Court in the Nixon tapes case) that the president enjoys no unique immunity from obeying criminal laws. "Regardless of the outcome of our investigation into those Russian Federation links, Director Comey's firing and his testimony raise separate and troubling questions that we must get to the bottom of". "The statue of justice has a blindfold on because you're not supposed to be peeking out to see whether your patron is pleased or not with what you're doing", Comey said.

When asked why he believes he was sacked, Comey said: "I don't know for sure, I take the president at his word that I was sacked because of the Russian investigation". Comey warns that such an investigation could "create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren't".

-Did the president ask Comey for his loyalty? Yes.

It is Comey's job to warn Trump that a dossier containing salacious and unverified allegations about the president-elect is floating around. "I didn't know that at the time but I watched the interview".

Fired FBI Director James Comey's gripping written account of his private encounters with Donald Trump since January reads like a movie script, giving a rare fly-on-the-wall view as the president and the FBI director parry like two alpha males warily circling each other. "I hope you can let this go".

Comey also describes at length a February 14 meeting in the Oval Office in which he believed Trump asked him to back off an investigation into Flynn.

"There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever". Comey said he had just been fired and the press was camped out by his driveway.

"I told the attorney-general he should be between me and the White House", Comey said.

He admitted, however, that he took calls from Trump after that statement.

The first (and only) comment from Trump's newly appointed spokesman and lawyer on all things involving Russia, Marc Kasowitz, hammered home that they feel "totally vindicated".

Comey was asked whether he would have been fired if Hillary Clinton had become president, to which he responded "I don't know".

After Trump fired Comey, Democrats accused the Republican president of seeking to hinder the Russian Federation probes. Today we finally get some answers.

  • Zachary Reyes