11 June, 2017
At the time, Comey said, the attorney general was weighing his recusal from all matters related to the Russia investigation - largely for his failure to acknowledge two previous meetings with the Russian ambassador during his January confirmation hearing - and for other "facts" the former director said he could not discuss publicly. Comey took notes on their conversations because he anxious the president "might lie" later.
The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director testified that he kept notes on his meetings with the president because he was concerned Trump might lie about the nature of their conversations.
The most striking thing James Comey revealed in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday is that he spent months preparing for it.
That is a sentiment finally acknowledged by White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Trump cryptically refused to say whether those private exchanges were taped - a matter at the heart of the conflicting accounts of what passed between them at a time when Comey was leading an FBI investigation into Russia's interference in the presidential election and its ties to the Trump campaign.
He also refuted some of Trump's statements, like that he never asked Comey to stop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Just 19 days before his inauguration, Trump questioned Russia's role in hacking and advised people not to think their computers are secure.
FOLKENFLIK: Trump has said - well, tweeted - that he uses Twitter to talk directly to the American public around the mainstream media. Perhaps not. Rachel noted on the show last night that the president's outside counsel had a hard day - he made a specific claim about the timeline surrounding FBI Director James Comey's memos, which turned out to be completely wrong - and today doesn't appear to be going any better. As a journalist, how can I not be annoyed when the president says the media produces "fake news" when it's keeping Trump's lies in line?
Last week, Democratic Sens. "I have to tell you, and I wonder if you would agree with me, Jeffrey, if you and I will focus expert witnesses in an impeachment trial of President Trump, and we were asked the question, has President Trump committed an obstruction of justice by pardoning Flynn, or by firing Comey, or by telling Comey not to investigate Flynn, my answer as an expert on the Constitution would be absolutely not". "President, this is wrong, '?" Who will combine that testimony with Trump's other questionable interactions with members of his cabinet when he reports his findings to the Justice Department and Congress. "Maybe if I were stronger I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation I just took it in".
His denunciations during Comey's Senate testimony were delivered with the same force that made him an effective, if controversial, campaign surrogate and could foreshadow the political future he seems ready to embrace. She called Comey an "honorable individual". She's argued she was on track to a victory when Comey's move raised fresh doubts about her. "I hear 'I hope nothing happens but you have to do your job, '" he tweeted.
Many Democrats still blame Comey for Clinton's loss, leading Trump to apparently believe they would applaud him for firing Comey. All Comey did was collect evidence in case Trump committed a crime or lied about their encounters.
Under questioning Thursday, Comey reaffirmed the intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation meddled in the election.