Read What President Trump's Attorney Said After James Comey's Testimony

He also revealed that he deliberately orchestrated the leak of a memo he wrote about his conversation with Trump to a reporter with the hope that it would lead to an independent investigation into Russian interference.

The White House's initial explanation for Comey's firing was his handling of the Clinton email investigation. It may not be as worrisome to some as the potential of Russian collusion with a United States campaign, but Comey, again, made clear Thursday that it was a problem.

He said that when Trump told him he hoped he would terminate an investigation into Michael Flynn, the ousted national security adviser, he interpreted that as a directive. "He is a good guy".

And, let's be honest, there's no way somebody could possibly get lost in Trump's clear, direct language.

"General Flynn was, at that time, in legal jeopardy".

But the ex-FBI director also will validate Trump's assertion that he was not personally a target of the federal counterintelligence investigation into possible campaign collusion with Russian Federation. "I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning", Comey told the committee.

"Did any individual working for this investigation including the Justice Department ask you to stop the Russian investigation", asked Sen.

Comey said he personally reassured Mr. Trump that he was not under investigation.

This admission, Kaskowitz said in a statement after the end of the open hearing, means that Comey "is one of these leakers" that Trump had asked him to investigate.

"Yes", Comey said. "Because I've seen the president say so".

"I knew that there might come a day when I needed a record of what happened [with Trump], not just to defend myself but to defend the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

Discussing the meeting where Comey says Trump asked him to back off Flynn, Sen. Burr and ranking Democrat Mark Warner have still not spoken with Mueller, nearly one month after he was appointed, and some lawmakers have speculated that the appointment of a special counsel would cut into Congress' probe. Rosenstein also ultimately recused himself. Instead, that was a matter for special counsel Rob Mueller he said. The president knows whether or not he has tapes of me.

Comey said he made a decision to use a go-between because he was anxious about the increased media scrutiny the memo was likely to bring.

Keep in mind this was supposed to be the White House's "Infrastructure Week", highlighting a key promise that excited investors about the prospects of a stronger economy.

Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders disputed Comey's testimony when asked about it during an off-camera briefing at the White House, saying "I can definitely say the president's not a liar".

"It is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications", Kasowitz said.

The speech to a fawning audience, which came as fired FBI Director James Comey testified about Trump before the Senate, provided the President with positive feedback on what otherwise was a politically trying day.

Comey's testimony, at a hugely anticipated congressional hearing that captured the country's attention, provided a gripping account of his interactions with Trump and underscored the deep distrust that had soured their relationship before his stunning firing last month.

  • Larry Hoffman