Former FBI director James Comey is dancing on a hot griddle Thursday, cheering and angering people on both sides of the political aisle as he testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
When Comey gave his opening statements on Wednesday, according NPR, he made some comments that had the anti-President Trump crowd claiming that Comey was accusing Trump of trying to control the FBI.
The fired FBI director related a private conversation he had with Trump where he assured the president that he liked his job and wanted to continue to lead the FBI but would not play political games.
That’s when Comey claims Trump said, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.”
Comey said he refused to reply in any way that would indicate he was agreeing with the president. Comey said he found that statement very awkward, especially when Trump brought up the subject again later.
After Comey emphasized the need for the FBI to remain independent from the White House, Comey said Trump repeated, “I need loyalty.”
“You will always get honesty from me,” Comey countered.
“That’s what I want — honest loyalty,” Trump replied.
“You will get that from me,” Comey agreed but added to the committee that he’s not sure he and the president shared the same definition of “honest loyalty.”
But now, according to ABC News, Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz has written a draft of a statement he’s planning to make that contradicts that conversation Comey said he had with Trump and undermines Comey’s credibility.
Kasowitz wrote that Trump “never told Mr. Comey, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty’ in form or substance.”
He then added, “Of course, the Office of the President is entitled to expect loyalty from those who are serving in an administration, and, from before this President took office to this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with select and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of those leakers.”
Kasowitz said Comey’s telling of his private conversations with Trump in a public Senate hearing was “unauthorized” and “entirely retaliatory” because Trump fired Comey.
“We will leave it to the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leaks [sic] should be investigated along with all those others being investigated,” he added, ominously suggesting Comey could get in big trouble.
Kasowitz also took on statements Comey made claiming Trump suggested he let go any investigation into resigned National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s connections to Russia.
While Comey had stopped short of accusing Trump of obstructing the FBI’s investigation into Flynn, Kasowitz said “the president never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that that [sic] Mr. Comey “let Flynn go.”
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