Ryan on Contacts Comey Deemed Inappropriate: Trump's 'Just New to This'

But after Trump made statements to the press that Comey's poor handling of the Russian investigation was behind the firing - and Trump administration spokespeople attacked his stewardship of the FBI - Comey chose to challenge him.

But that wasn't the only reason Comey gave for withholding word of the Flynn conversation from Sessions. "Knowing my father for 39 years when he "orders or tells" you to do something there is no ambiguity, you will know exactly what he means", said Trump Jr.

"I took it as a direction", Comey said.

"He described the Russian Federation investigation as "a cloud" that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country", Comey wrote.

Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers.

"Comey was thinking three steps ahead of the president by writing the memo and ensuring it couldn't be labeled classified", he said. And I think the American people now know why he was so frustrated: "Because this speculation was allowed to swirl when he was being directly told by the FBI director he wasn't under investigation". As he said yesterday, the President feels completely vindicated and is eager to continue moving forward with his agenda with this public cloud removed. Such an offense potentially could lead to Trump being impeached by Congress, although the Republicans who control the Senate and House of Representatives have shown little appetite to make such a move against him.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) asked whether Pence, who oversaw the presidential transition process, was aware of those concerns before Flynn became national security adviser.

"The president's new at this".

President Donald Trump remained surprisingly silent on Twitter throughout former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's much-anticipated Senate hearing on Thursday.

"We're under siege. but we will come out bigger and better and stronger than ever", he said. "We will not back down from doing what is right".

Wearing a suit and a blue checked burgundy tie, Comey started his testimony by describing how he was let go by Trump, which he knew was the president's prerogative, but that the "shifting" explanations for why he was terminated "confused me and increasingly concerned me".

Ryan declined to comment on whether he thought it was appropriate for Trump to ask Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn.

Russian Federation has denied such interference and the White House as denied any collusion. "Those were lies plain and simple".

Comey appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday (Friday NZ time), where he spoke publicly for the first time on his claims Trump asked him to shut down a probe into National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn - then fired him when he refused.

Marc Kasowitz, Trump's personal lawyer, made his debut on the Washington stage.

He repeated his words from Wednesday that Comey had told Trump that the president was not under investigation in the Russian Federation probe.

Trump was scheduled to speak at a conservative religious conference at 12:35 pm ET while Comey's hearing began at 10 a.m. ET.

Comey said - as he did in written testimony - that the president had not asked him to shut down the broader probe of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.

Comey didn't identify that friend, other than to say the person is a law professor at Columbia University - promptly crashing the law school's website.

  • Larry Hoffman