President Trump Blasts James Comey for 'Lies,' Declares 'Total and Complete Vindication'

Comey also said that he took detailed notes on nine of his one-on-one interactions with Trump because he feared the president would later lie about the nature of their conversations. The event was covered live by the major USA television networks, and seen around the world. The latter entity has been preparing a report on Comey's handling of Hillary Clinton investigation, a report that the president did not wait for when he chose to fire the FBI director. Comey said he would leave that to the special prosecutor investigating the case to decide. At first, the White House cited a harsh memo about Comey's performance from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as the justification, though Trump later said he would have fired Comey regardless of what the Justice Department recommended.

"Executive privilege is an important shield to protect the president's power".

The president's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, issued a statement after Comey's public testimony, reiterating facts that he felt bolstered Trump's claims and going after Comey for the revelation about how he shared his memos. "We simply looked at each other in silence".

"Then I hung up and called my wife and broke a date with her".

Former FBI director James Comey rocked Washington Thursday in testimony before Congress on alleged efforts by President Donald Trump to influence the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

After his dismissal, Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee, he told a friend about his memos and asked him to leak the information about them to reporters. Senators met in a portion of the U.S. Capitol configured as a "secure compartmented information facility", built to resist eavesdropping.

Rubio opened his questioning at the January 11 confirmation hearing for Rex Tillerson, then Trump's nominee for secretary of state, with blistering questions about whether the Exxon Mobil chief executive believed that Russians, at the behest of President Vladimir Putin, had interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign.

At the White House, the deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said: "I can definitively say the president is not a liar".

"What struck me is that it is completely unacceptable for the president to ask the FBI director to be personally loyal to him and to ask the FBI director to drop it with regards to an ongoing investigation into his former national security adviser", said Sen. The former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief said Trump asked him to "see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go". He is a good guy.

I hope so, too, but I would be surprised if such recordings exist.

Comey claimed Trump said "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go" regarding the Flynn probe. "This is what he wanted to me to do".

Mr Comey said there was no doubt, in his mind, about the Russian government's covert attempt to interfere in last year's presidential election.

Trump said his father was vindicated because Comey revealed himself as a leaker. Why did you agree to be alone with him?

Comey acknowledged that Trump never explicitly ordered him to end the Russian Federation investigation.

When asked if Republicans would be seeking impeachment in similar circumstances under a Democratic president, the House speaker said that "was not the case".

For example, Comey insisted he was "so stunned" by Trump's dealings with him that he didn't initially react (a comment for which he took some heat from the right). But most legal scholars, as well as the Justice Department, say it can't be done under the Constitution.

"I don't know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way the political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate", he said.

  • Carolyn Briggs