Former FBI director James Comey's loyalty is to his country

Former FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that he kept records of his talks with President Donald Trump because he thought the president might "lie".

While Comey repeatedly declined to get into specifics about the Russia investigation, he said: "The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle". As Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Bernstein noted, Comey's testimony illustrated the self-defeating incompetence with which Trump has governed. It will be left to special counsel Robert Mueller to decide what it all means. Tom Cotton, Comey also said that much of a February 14 story in the Times about Trump campaign aides repeatedly being in contact with Russian intelligence agents was incorrect. Reports out of Comey's closed-session testimony before the committee say that there may have been a third undisclosed meeting between Sessions and Kislyak. Instead, the morning was a riveting portrayal of his interactions with the president in what amounted to a possible, though not proven, case of obstruction of justice.

On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah joked about the closed session that took place a few hours after Comey's testimony and was alluded to throughout the hearing. He was direct and crisp in his answers, generally careful to avoid over- interpretation of the facts as he recalled them.

Two House Democrats, Representatives Al Green and Brad Sherman, said this week they were drafting what are known as articles of impeachment against Trump.

Overall, however, the effect of his appearance was to put the president on the defensive in ways that will demand a sworn and substantive rebuttal in some forum at some point. She called Comey an "honorable individual".

In a statement made to WSAZ, Sen. Now, with Thursday's testimony, that cloud will persist until Mueller has concluded his work.

According to Trush and Haberman, the president's "top advisers, especially his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, were anxious that the president would defy Mr. Kasowitz and take to Twitter to vent his pique with Mr. Comey, who he believes is on a personal mission to destroy his presidency".

But his testimony was not definitive.

Comey said he was sickened when Lynch "directed" him to call the Clinton probe a "matter" and not an "investigation". No one else from the White House or the administration ever asked him to do so.

Sen. Angus King: Now, on the Flynn investigation, is it not true that Mr. Flynn was and is a central figure in this entire investigation of the relationship between the Trump campaign and the Russians? Imagine that. Mr. Comey corroborating what Mr. Trump has been saying all along.

Comey also revealed that he'd orchestrated the public release of information about his private conversations with the president in an effort to further the investigation. One significant item I can't, but know the committee's been briefed on, there's been some public accounts of it which are nonsense, but I understand the committee has been briefed on the classified facts. "That combination of things I had never experienced before, but had led me to believe I've got to write it down and I've got to write it down in a very detailed way".

In a series of tweets, Trump Jr said: "Flynn stuff is BS in context 2 guys talking about a guy they both know well".

His testimony drew a largely muted reaction from Midlands Republicans on Capitol Hill, nearly all of whom avoided commenting on the substance of Comey's allegations.

  • Joanne Flowers