Trump lawyer denies president demanded Comey's loyalty

He admitted leaking information to the media following his sacking, telling the committee that he had asked "a friend of mine to share" a memo he had written about his conversation with Trump with a reporter. Daniel Richman confirmed he was the professor in an email to the Wall Street Journal. "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.

Asked if he believed it all adds up to obstruction of justice, Comey punted, saying it was up to the special counsel to investigate.

"I woke up in the middle of the night on (May 15), (because) it didn't dawn on me originally that there might be corroboration for our conversation - there might be a tape", Comey said.

Comey said he did not know if there are tapes of his conversations with Trump but said he hoped there were and that they should be made public.

What does Comey know about Jeff Sessions that he can't say?

Comey said, "Why did he kick everybody out of the Oval Office?"

"Those were lies, plain and simple".

"The FBI is honest, the FBI is strong".

Comey said that he declined to do so in large part because of the "duty to correct" that would be created if that situation changed. That includes former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Comey also made clear that political entanglement in law enforcement has cut across party lines. The Associated Press emphasized Comey's assertion in its coverage.

"This investigation is full of leaks left and right", said Rubio, echoing concerns frequently expressed by Trump.

"Consistent with that statement, the President never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that that [sic] Mr. Comey 'let Flynn go".

President Trump's private lawyer on Thursday disputed key details of former FBI Director James Comey's congressional testimony and accused him of improperly leaking "privileged communications" with the president. He also said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation never examined the hardware that was hacked at the Democratic National Committee's, but that the Federal Bureau of Investigation got the information they needed from a third party. In your estimation, was General Flynn at that time in serious legal jeopardy and, in addition to that, do you sense that the president was trying to obstruct justice or just seek for a way for Mike Flynn to save face given he had already been fired? He is a good guy.

Mr Kasowitz says that the president is "entitled to expect loyalty" from those serving the administration.

"That concerned me, because (Lynch's) language tracked how the campaign was talking about the FBI's work", Comey said.

He did not tweet about the Comey hearing, nor did he mention the testimony specifically during a midday speech to a group of religious conservatives.

He appeared somewhat emotional when asked why the allegations about Russian attempts to influence the election are a big deal. "We have to build those numbers up because we're just not going to get votes" from Democrats, he said.

"They're coming after America", Comey said of the Russians.

"As hard as we can be with each other, we remain that shining city on the hill".

Senators asked many questions that Comey said he couldn't answer in a public setting because of the ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump associates colluded in that meddling.

The disclosures that followed Comey's firing have raised questions about why Comey, known in government for an independent streak and a willingness to buck protocol, did not speak out publicly while on the job, or at least make his objections directly known to the president. Last updated at 2:56 note coverage that was in fact from Associated Press.

  • Carolyn Briggs