Trump declares 'complete vindication' after Comey testimony

Frederick Owens
June 14, 2017

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". Comey said he wanted the memo released "because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel".

Comey said Trump told Sessions and other administration officials to leave the room before Trump asked him in February to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers and other critics say Comey's clams that Trump leaned on him to somehow drop the Russian Federation investigation could amount to an obstruction of justice. Asked on Friday if he would be willing to go under oath to give his version of his interactions with Comey, Trump replied, "100 per cent". That's what I have been focused on, but yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction.

Comey also revealed that he'd orchestrated the public release of information about his private conversations with the president in an effort to further the investigation. "But we want to get back to running our great country".

Trump's aides have dodged questions about whether conversations relevant to the Russian Federation investigation have been recorded, and so did the president, in series of teases.

"We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make (Sessions') continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic, " Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday. Still, he maintained he had never asked Comey for a pledge of allegiance.

"Who would do that?" He also said that he took it as a "directive" when Trump asked him, in a room he had cleared of a cabinet member and senior advisers, to "let this go" regarding an investigation of Flynn.

Later Friday, Trump declined to rule out his previous claim that there may be tapes of his conversations with Comey.

Trump is again challenging Comey after the ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation director's testimony before the Senate Intelligence committee last week. "I will tell you I didn't say that-and there would be nothing wrong if I did say it according to everybody that I've read today, but I did not say that". So it was just an excuse, but we were very, very happy.

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Comey's admission that he submitted the contents of a memo detailing his discussions with the president to the New York Times through a friend sets up the biggest battle between leaking and what is being leaked yet.

Even with a Republican-controlled Congress, Trump's victories so far have largely come from pulling things down - leaving a trans-Pacific trade deal or opting out of the Paris climate accord - rather than passing new policies.

On Friday, Trump said on three occasions that the media would soon know about whether tapes existed. When your boss tells you "I hope you can start showing up for work on time", it means: You'd better show up on time or you'll be out of job.

Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) tells ABC's "This Week" that he thinks Trump was trying to "cultivate some kind of relationship" with him.

Much of Comey's testimony was exculpatory with regard to Trump.

Still, Ryan said the testimony, and senators' questions, would be historic.

Comey said that he'd carefully documented his interactions with Trump because he anxious Trump would misrepresent them, and accused the administration of spreading "lies, plain and simple" about the reasons for his firing.

On March 20, Comey informed Congress that the FBI was investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Back in March, Sessions stepped aside from overseeing a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign after he acknowledged meeting twice past year with the Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak.

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