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White House strikes back at Comey, says Trump 'not a liar'

09 June 2017

Graham argued that if former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the Russian Federation probe special counsel, was really looking into whether Trump's remarks to Comey amounted to obstruction, Mueller wouldn't have let him testify publicly in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday.

Despite comments from the co-chairmen that this was not to be a political event, it was nearly totally political.

The attorney, Marc Kasowitz, said Trump did not ask Comey for his loyalty and did not direct or suggest to Comey that he stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn. If they are truly serious about gaining new information, then all hearings should be done in closed session; otherwise, Congress should get back to work on the important issues such as tax reform, immigration and a new health care bill.

And as Comey dropped his explosive revelations before a stunned audience, including millions tuning in on television and digitally around the world, the testimony took on a tone of personal revenge by a man reportedly branded a "nutjob" by the president himself.

Comey did not explicitly draw any legal conclusions. "We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic".

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"No, I can definitively say the president's not a liar", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's decision to orchestrate a leak as a means of putting pressure on Trump's Department of Justice has been seized upon by conservative media, earning top billing at Breitbart, Newsmax, and the Drudge Report.

When he was sacked in May, Comey said Trump had not become a target of the investigation, but added that his actions may eventually come under scrutiny in the probe.

While Mueller could ultimately conclude Trump obstructed justice, previous Justice Department legal opinions say he could not indict or charge a sitting president.

Mr Comey didn't, he said, have the "presence of mind" or the courage to tell the President his request was inappropriate. Comey explained that he made his account of the meeting public because he believed such a move would "prompt the appointment of a special counsel" to oversee the Russian Federation investigation. He said he appreciated Comey's willingness to testify. Comey said his senior aides were divided on whether to provide that assurance to Trump.

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Using extraordinarily blunt language, Comey accused the White House of "lies" and defamation in the wake of his shock ouster last month.

Comey: Again, those words are not an order. Comey claimed during his testimony that the material was not classified.

The president has repeatedly denied the dossier's allegations, denouncing it as a complete fabrication, and has said leaks regarding the report from us intelligence agencies amounted to "something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do".

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White House strikes back at Comey, says Trump 'not a liar'