In Testimony Over Russian Probe, Comey Accuses Trump of Lying

Comey said Trump had asked him during a meeting on February 14 to go easy on an ongoing investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. The event was covered live by the major USA television networks, and seen around the world.

"Did I miss something or did Comey just say he asked a friend to leak information to the press?" asked Trump Jr.

Everything Trump did before and after that exchange at a one-on-one White House dinner would seem to validate Comey's takeaway.

Said Comey: "Lordy, I hope there are tapes".

Republicans, including Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, are criticizing former FBI Director James Comey for releasing information to a friend about a private discussion Comey had with President Donald Trump.

What do you do if you've just been fired as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the administration has chosen to "defame" you with "lies plain and simple", and you believe the president of the United States may be trying to obstruct justice?

"It's my judgment I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation", Comey said.

Questions to Comey ranged from the status of investigations to how many times he met with previous presidents, the interactions he had with Trump, and a wide variety of other subjects.

Earlier Trump broken his silence on Twitter, tweeting he'd been vindicated and derided Comey as a "leaker".

Provided in summary in his written testimony to the Senate intelligence committee, they were written just after his conversations with Mr. Trump, when his memory was fresh and his ability to recall details at its sharpest.

Comey, who was sacked by Trump in May, did not make any major disclosures about any links between Trump or his associates and alleged Russian meddling.

"I would say that it's a regular Thursday at the White House", Sanders said.

"No I didn't say that", Trump stated abruptly, taking questions at a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in the Rose Garden. And Comey said that he believed he was sacked by Trump to impede the FBI's overall investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections - "the way the Russian investigation was being conducted" - not just the FBI probe of Flynn.

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go". Comey quoted Trump as saying, "He is a good guy".

He said Comey's testimony proved Trump hadn't tried to interfere in FBI investigations. "This is what he wanted to me to do".

Comey would not say whether he thought the president sought to obstruct justice, but added it would be up to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is now investigating the Russian Federation allegations, "to sort that out".

"I was anxious because the media was camping at the end of my driveway at that point", says Comey.

He also said he was "confused and increasingly concerned" by Trump's shifting explanations for firing him, including Trump's remark that he had had Russian Federation on his mind in dismissing Comey four years into a 10-year term.

"We will leave it to the appropriate authorities to determine whether these leaks should be investigated along with all the other leaks that are being investigated". "He agreed, but then re-emphasized the problem this was causing him". Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath?

In his much-anticipated Senate testimony, Comey would not offer an opinion on whether the president's actions amounted to a criminal case of obstruction of justice. Comey said he found Trump's comments to him about the FBI's investigation "very disturbing", but that it was not up to him to decide whether they constituted obstruction of justice.

Career Justice Department officials had been recommending he step aside, Comey said.

  • Larry Hoffman