Talking with Comey, Trump focused on himself, not Russian hacks

Talking with Comey, Trump focused on himself, not Russian hacks”

Nearly 20 million people tuned in to what pundits nicknamed "Washington's Super Bowl", as they watched former FBI director James Comey testify over three hours that Russian Federation had meddled in the U.S. election and that U.S. President Donald Trump had fired him over the FBI's investigation into whether Trump's campaign had links with Moscow.

Comey teased the testimony with his written statement on Wednesday and then appeared in the hearing room on Thursday, sitting alone facing the Senate Intelligence Committee and casually calling the president of the United States a liar.

In referring to Comey, Trump was citing the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's acknowledgment that he had asked a friend to leak his memos about his conversations with the president.

On Friday, the House Intelligence Committee wrote White House Counsel Don McGahn, asking if the White House had any tapes or memos "now or in the past" about Comey's private conversations with Trump.

While the president doesn't specify his target for the "false statements and lies", Trump's lawyer refuted two key parts of Comey's testimony Thursday.

"What struck me is that it is completely unacceptable for the president to ask the FBI director to be personally loyal to him and to ask the FBI director to drop it with regards to an ongoing investigation into his former national security adviser", said Sen. "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

According to Comey, Trump was seeking support from him in the endeavor to stop the criminal prosecution.

TRUMP: 100%. I hardly know the man.

Until Friday morning's tweet at 6:10 a.m. ET, Trump had not posted on Twitter for nearly two days.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted more than 80 times Thursday, defending his father and attacking Comey.

Comey said for the first time on Thursday that he had handed over his memos on these conversations to special counsel Mueller. During the news conference, Trump said he would have more information related to whether tapes exist at a later date.

Comey responded, "He was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons".

Asked on Friday which version she would believe, Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins said it was possible Comey misremembered or misinterpreted some of their exchanges.

"Well, I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future", Trump said.

Collins said she believed Trump did not understand the boundaries between the White House and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russian Federation - from a position of strength only - is possible, absolutely possible", Trump said.

He said that when Trump told him he hoped he would terminate an investigation into Michael Flynn, the ousted national security adviser, he interpreted that as a directive.

With a single tweet, Trump also castigated Comey as "a leaker" for giving an account of his conversation with the president to a law professor who shared it with a news outlet. Comey also said he believed he "was fired because of the Russian Federation investigation" that has targeted some people in the president's orbit.

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