Investigators request Trump/Comey tapes - if they exist

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed called FBI Director James Comey's Thursday testimony a persuasive indictment of President Donald Trump's efforts to influence the direction of the Bureau's Russian Federation investigation.

Comey delivered congressional testimony on Thursday that Trump asked the FBI chief to end an investigation into a top aide and demanded a pledge of loyalty - claims disputed by Trump.

Trump made the remarks while responding to questions on Comey's explosive testimony in which he accused the president of trying to stop a probe into the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. elections past year.

The president didn't take too kindly to the testimony, accusing the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director of lying under oath.

Mr Comey told a Senate hearing on Thursday that he had written a series of memos about his relationship with the President and had a friend leak them to the press.

Comey said he felt it was necessary to take notes on his meetings and conversations with Trump because he feared the president would lie about what took place. Comey also said the president "hoped" the then-FBI director would pledge him his loyalty.

Hours later, Mr Trump ignored reporters when asked about whether Mr Comey was telling the truth. I mean, think of it. You and I are friends.

"Man up!", King said of Comey.

In response to Comey's stunning testimony, Trump and his lawyer have staked out an incoherent position.

"You're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don't worry", said Trump when asked by CNN's Jim Acosta why he couldn't answer the question.

As CNN commentators afterward questioned why Trump couldn't just come right out and answer the question about tapes, correspondent Dana Bash made a crack referring to Trump's reality-TV roots: "You've got to wait for the next episode!"

Trump has denied Comey's account. "So it was just an excuse, but we were very, very happy, and frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things just weren't true", Trump said.

The president said Friday afternoon that he would discuss his conversations with Comey under oath with special counsel Robert Mueller. "No, I didn't say that".

"Today we reaffirm and celebrate our strategic partnership that began more than 20 years ago", Trump said.

"I hardly know the man", Trump said.

If they do, they asked that copies of the materials be provided to the panel by June 23.

  • Carolyn Briggs