U.S. President Donald Trump broke his Twitter silence Friday claiming “total and complete vindication” a day after James Comey’s testimony at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, while slamming the fired FBI boss as a “leaker!”
Trump took to social media the day after Comey said the president fired him to undermine the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s apparent ties with Russia.
“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Trump tweeted.
During Thursday’s testimony, Comey said he believed Trump fired him because of the FBI probe into the Trump-Russia connection.
“Guess I don’t know for sure. I believe the — I take the president at his word, that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” Comey testified while under oath.
Trump had said Comey’s firing was the result of the FBI being in “turmoil.”
Competing realities: What James Comey said vs. what Donald Trump has said
“The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that, I know that, everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil — less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that,” Trump said in an interview with NBC.
However, Comey said Thursday he “was fired in some way to change, or the endeavour was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. That is a very big deal, and not just because it involves me.”
The ex-FBI boss testified that he documented his meeting with Trump over fears the president might “lie.”
“I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document,” Comey said. “I knew there might come a day when I might need a record of what happened not only to defend myself but to protect the FBI.”
Comey also went on to accuse Trump of spreading “lies, plain and simple” about the bureau and Comey himself.
Trump slammed Comey as a “leaker” Friday after the fired FBI director told the Senate hearing he gave a friend a written memo detailing a meeting he had with the president and asked the friend to give it to a reporter.
“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter,” Comey said. “Didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel, so I asked a close friend of mine to do it.”
Trump’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz issued a statement following Comey’s testimony, saying the former FBI director admitted to “unilaterally and surreptitiously” disclosed “privileged communications” with Trump to the media.
Citing unnamed sources, CNN reported Friday Kasowitz plans to file a complaint with the Senate Judiciary Committee over Comey’s leaked memo.
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