Comey Told Senators of a Third, Undisclosed Meeting Between Sessions and Russians

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11 June, 2017

US President Donald Trump smiles during the Infrastructure Summit with Governors and Mayors at the White House in Washington, US, June 8, 2017.

Mr Trump refrained from tweeting all day Thursday - even as Mr Comey accused his administration of spreading "lies" and suggested the president had attempted to influence the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Comey was sacked May 9 and Trump tweeted May 12, "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" According to the reports, Comey told Congress that the president had not personally been under investigation while he was in the post.

The disclosures that followed Comey's firing have raised questions about why Comey, known in government for an independent streak and a willingness to buck protocol, did not speak out publicly while on the job, or at least make his objections directly known to the president. In the congressional hearing, Comey did not disclose any links between Trump advisers and alleged Russian meddling.

Comey also said under oath that the president asked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's loyalty in private meetings, an effort that Comey understood to be an attempt to make him indebted to Trump despite the need for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to remain independent of the White House.

KARL: And did you ask you to pledge loyalty? "He's a leaker", he said of Comey. In his testimony, Comey said that after he was sacked and Trump's May 12 tweet, he gave the memos to Richman with the intent that they be leaked to the media. Asked if he would be willing to go under oath to give his version of the interactions with Comey, Trump replied, "100 percent". "Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction", Trump said at a Rose Garden news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. "Number two, I don't know how it got out there because I didn't ask that question". I'm not going to say I want you to pledge allegiance.

"Who would do that?" I mean, think of it.

Comey said Trump did not attempt to get him to drop the overall Russia investigation, just the part of if that related to Flynn, who the president fired in February for misleading US Vice-President Mike Pence about the extent of his conversations a year ago with Sergei Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States.

Trump and his surrogates moved to attack Comey as a "leaker" for the latter's admission that he'd orchestrated the appearance of a New York Times story on memos he'd written following White House meetings.

Detailing one-on-one talks with a sitting president - which under normal circumstances are private - Comey said he took painstaking notes for fear Trump might "lie" about the unusual encounters.

TRUMP: I'm not hinting anything, I'll tell you about it over a very short period of time. Michael Conaway, a Texas Republican, and Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, sent a request Friday directly to Comey for copies of his memos.


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