Sessions recused from Russian Federation probe only over campaign role:DOJ

Though Trump has lambasted Comey as a "leaker", he also claimed "total and complete vindication" following the ex-FBI chief's testimony, focusing on Comey's confirmation that Trump was not personally being probed.

Questions over whether such tapes exist have been swirling ever since Trump tweeted on May 12, "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

While many of Trump's Republican allies have found Comey's testimony credible, the president has called the man he fired a liar and a "leaker".

Mr Comey testified that he had given a memo, including details about a conversation with President Trump, to a friend - who was later identified as law professor Daniel Richman.

When asked at the USA congressional hearing why he was sacked, Comey said he did not know for sure.

He added he would have to consult with prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged ties between Russian Federation, interference in the election and Mr Trump's campaign.

Comey painted a devastating picture of an untrustworthy president, who at best unknowingly shred the norms of office by pressing him on the Russian Federation probe, and at worst may have criminally obstructed justice. "And some of the things that he said just weren't true", Trump said.

Comey's testimony was the most eagerly anticipated USA congressional hearing in years.

The president also said that he never asked the former FBI director to pledge his "loyalty" over the investigation, a major part of what Comey said during his testimony.

Mr Comey said he refused on all points, told senators of the detailed memos he had written after his conversations with Mr Trump and said he hoped those conversations were taped because he is confident of their veracity.

And over dinner at the White House in an earlier interaction, Comey wrote in his opening testimony, Trump had demanded loyalty, possibly in return for letting him continue in the job.

Responding to the president's vow to testify under oath, CNN reporter Manu Raju asked on Twitter, "Will Trump regret this?" "I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future", he said. "We've obviously pressed the White House", he said. "Whether he obstructed justice, remains for the facts to come forward, and that's what we want are the facts".

Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee is formally asking the White House whether it possesses any "recordings or memoranda" of Trump's conversations with Comey.

The president's lawyers plan to file a complaint with the justice department inspector general next week arguing that Mr Comey should not have shared what they call privileged communications, according to two people involved in the matter.

  • Salvatore Jensen