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Lies, defamation, tapes, leaks: Highlights from Comey's testimony

10 June 2017

President Trump has broken the silence he maintained during former FBI Director James Comey's testimony Thursday, saying on Twitter that he was vindicated in the hearing that explored Russian meddling in the USA election, its ties to Trump's security adviser, and Trump's dealings with Comey.

During one White House dinner, Comey recalled that the president asked him for "loyalty" and to lay off his former national security adviser Michael Flynn - who is under criminal investigation over his Russian Federation ties - imploring Comey to "let this go". And we know, as well, that Trump fired Comey, offering a variety of inconsistent and incommensurate justifications for that action (e.g. falsely stating that Comey had lost the confidence of his staff and first stating that the reason for dismissal was the bungling of the Clinton email investigation, while then saying that the Russian Federation issue had been on his mind).

"Lordy, I hope there are tapes", Comey said Thursday, saying they could confirm his testimony that Trump leaned on him to kill the Flynn probe. Comey also said in his written testimony that Trump, in a unusual private encounter near the grandfather clock in the Oval Office, pushed him to end his investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

In Comey's telling, the president leaned hard on his FBI director to rein in the investigation of Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

President Donald Trump on Friday broke his silence on Twitter following explosive testimony by fired FBI Director James Comey, declaring "total and complete vindication". Although Comey was under oath during his public hearing, the latest statement released by the Department Of Justice (DOJ) contradicts his testimony. "I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting so I thought it really important to document". Mr. Trump's son, Donald Jr., took to Twitter to criticize Mr. Comey.

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I won't name other countries, but we are not done solving the problem, but we will solve that problem. Trump said in the Middle East last month, when he claimed he had helped unify the Muslim world .

"I took it as a direction", Comey told the committee.

To the degree there was - which was when Comey was asked about the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state - the former director provided new and damning revelations about former attorney general Loretta E. Lynch.

"I found him to be credible, candid and thorough", Collins said of Comey on MSNBC's "Morning Joe".

Chyrons on Fox, where Trump fans dominate the audience, often emphasized news favorable to the president.

Trump's private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, seized on Comey's affirmation that he told Trump he was not personally under investigation. "Remember how nice you used to be before I ran?"

'100 Percent' Would Testify Under Oath About Comey
After all, Thursday's hearing was called by the Republican chairman of a GOP-led panel in a Republican-led Senate. Asked if he would be willing to give his version of events under oath, Mr Trump replied: "100 per cent".

And Mr. Comey flatly rejected the White House's initial explanation for his May 9 firing. Of course, that was a foolish hope in the first place, since even if such evidence existed, Comey was never going to divulge it in an open Senate hearing. "If the election were on October 27, I would be your president", Clinton said last month.

Sen. James Risch, a Republican from Idaho, parsed Trump's words so painfully in an effort to absolve him that you might have wished for an aspirin. "I think it is frankly insulting that question would be asked", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told an off-camera briefing. But he said the changing stories about his firing - specifically that the Russian Federation investigation was the reason, in Trump's thinking - had raised his sense of concern and ultimately led him to put into the public domain the contents of the memo about the Oval Office meeting on February 14. Already one can see the colorable grounds for a strong counter-argument - that the President simply did not know that what he was doing was wrong. Comey's testimony is certain to dominate the question-and-answer session.

Under attack by Trump, Comey wanted to get his side of the story out.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, asked Comey a question that Republicans have been raising since his firing.

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