Comey: I kept records on Trump because I thought he might 'lie'

The narrative in Comey's prepared testimony, which the Senate Intelligence Committee released Wednesday, includes allegations that the president told him, "I expect loyalty", pressed him to lift the "cloud" of investigation over the White House and asked - but didn't order - him to drop an inquiry into ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Comey said there was no doubt, in his mind, about the Russian government's covert attempt to interfere in last year's presidential election. Kasowitz also noted - correctly - that Comey had confirmed that he privately had told Trump at various times that he himself wasn't then under investigation by the FBI as part of its Russian Federation probe. "It's not a close call".

"It is kind of selective outrage on the part of Democrats, and I don't think that what Trump did rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors", Johnson said, referring to one of the standards that can trigger congressional impeachment proceedings against a president.

He also said Trump's comments after firing him on May 9 that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was in disarray and that its members had lost confidence in Comey "were lies, plain and simple". The president has not yet publicly denied the specifics of Comey's accounts but has broadly challenged his credibility, tweeting last month Comey "better hope there are no 'tapes"' of the conversations. "We simply looked at each other in silence".

Kasowitz said Thursday, "Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey's excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to entirely retaliatory". He also made no mention of it during a speech at a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, which took place during Comey's testimony. "I hope you can let this go".

Comey said his distrust of Trump prompted him to take meticulous notes immediately after each of their nine discussions this year.

"James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said".

Comey also testified 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. "I will tell you about it over a very short period of time". He asked Richman, by his own admission, "to share the content of the memo with a reporter". "He agreed, but then re-emphasized the problem this was causing him".

The White House said Kasowitz would make a statement about Comey's testimony after he finishes.

Tucker argued that perhaps the most important revelation to emerge from Comey's testimony is that allegations about collusion between President Donald Trump and Russian Federation are starting to look weaker than ever.

Rodríguez explained that regardless of whether Trump's actions constitute the typical legal definition of obstruction of justice, a case for impeachment can still be made on the basis of the president's conduct. If they exist they could vindicate Trump - or brand him a liar'. "It hasn't recovered from that", Trump said in an interview with NBC.

"That was an excuse by the Democrats who lost an election that some people think they shouldn't have lost, because it's nearly impossible for the Democrats to lose the Electoral College, as you know".

"Those were lies, plain and simple", Comey said, firing a shot of tension through the hearing room, which stood silent except for the shutter clicks of photographers capturing the political theater.

At least one expert found fault in Comey's tactics.