Trump declares 'total vindication' after Comey testimony
10 Juin, 2017, 21:39 | Author: Marc Bacque
Trump cited that, as his outside lawyer has as well, as evidence that there was no collusion or obstruction in his administration. He told reporters that he would tell them that "maybe sometime in the very near future".
On Friday morning, Trumpsaid in a Twitter post, "Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!"
Comey wrote memos about his recollection of those events because he said Thursday he did not trust the president to tell the truth about their conversations.
On Thursday, as Comey sat before the Senate Intelligence Committee, he was asked about being taped in the White House, to which Comey replied, "Lordy, I hope there are tapes". Disseminating unclassified information is generally not considered leaking, CNN said, and Mr Trump did not assert executive privilege over Mr Comey's testimony. Comey said that Trump asked him specifically whether he could drop the investigation with respect to Flynn, the former national security adviser whom Trump fired for withholding information about his contacts with foreign governments. The hearings also confirmed that the FBI was not targeting Trump personally - again, making it hard to claimhe was obstructing an investigation that did not exist.
Trump's Twitter account had been quiet throughout Comey's testimony accusing the administration of spreading "lies".
He also claimed that he "hardly" knows Comey.
"Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction; he's a leaker", Trump said of Comey and his testimony during a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in the White House rose garden.
Comey testified Thursday that he handed over his memos on the interactions he had with Trump to a "close friend" with the intention that they be shared widely.
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"And there would be nothing wrong if I did say it according to everybody that I read today, but I did not say that". Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committeehe hoped the release of the memo's comments would prompt the selection of a special prosecutor to oversee the FBI's probe into Russian election meddling and any ties to the Trump campaign.
Trump had demanded Comey's loyalty at the January dinner, and then at the White House he cleared the room of all other senior officials before making his request.
"Trying to get DoJ to go after Comey - a material witness - over "leak" is yet more obstruction of justice", Painter tweeted.
Trump and aides referenced those comments in claiming vindication, but some officials said Comey's statements that Trump leaned on him to drop the Russian Federation investigation could add up to obstruction of justice. He also said he didn't ask Comey to drop an investigation of Flynn. Comey said the pair had nine one-on-one conversations from January to April, which the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director documented because he thought Trump might "lie" about them. But the president added that he would not ask someone to say such a thing while that person was "under oath", suggesting the question perhaps confused him.
Trump began Friday's press conference by accusing Qatar, a key USA military partner, of funding terrorism "at a very high level", and said solving problems in the tiny Persian Gulf national could be "the beginning of the end of terrorism".
Lawmakers also are asking that Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia, turn over memos that Comey took of his conversations with Trump.
Regarding Qatar, home to USA military facilities and a diplomatic imbroglio with its Gulf Region neighbors, Trump said, "We ask Qatar and other countries in the region to do more, and do it faster".
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Update: President Trump gave the same maybe-I-did, maybe-I-didn't statement in a press conference Friday . The other is Comey's assertion that Trump twice told him, "I need loyalty" during a January 27 dinner.
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