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Comey says Trump fired him to undermine FBI Russia investigation

Comey says Trump fired him to undermine FBI Russia investigation

Former Director of Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) James Comey said Thursday that he was confused over the circumstances under which he was sacked.

"It confused me when I saw on television the president saying that he actually fired me because of the Russian Federation investigation", he said.

"I took it as a direction", Comey told the committee.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he did not believe Trump had committed a crime even if his personal style was often brash, adding: "I'll just say it, if being crude, rude and a bull in a china shop was a crime, Trump would get the death penalty".

"The administration then chose to defame me and, more importantly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation by saying that the organization was in disarray", Comey said. And in testimony that exposed deep distrust between the president and the veteran lawman, Comey described intense discomfort about their one-on-one conversations, saying he decided he immediately needed to document the discussions in memos.

The February meeting was one of several one-on-one encounters that Comey said made him feel such intense discomfort that he felt compelled to document them in memos.

Trump tweeted in his first comments since Comey appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

A central - and unresolved - question from the hearing revolves around whether President Donald Trump was trying to derail the Russian Federation investigation by pressuring, and ultimately firing, the man in charge. "And some of the things that he said just weren't true".

Rubio's questioning was followed by Wyden, who asked Comey why, after Trump told him to "let go" of the Flynn case, he didn't go to his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"It took a Manhattan billionaire male who for most of his life was pro-choice, to deliver the most impassioned defense of life I've ever heard", said Kellyanne Conway, Trump's campaign manager and now a counselor to the president, referring to Trump's graphic description of a late-term abortion during the last presidential debate of the 2016 campaign. Comey said he gave copies of his memo memorializing his talks with Trump to people outside the Justice Department and asked a friend to share its contents with a journalist.

"I was also confused by the initial explanation that was offered publicly, that I was sacked because of the decisions I had made during the election year", Comey said. Meanwhile, the special counsel for ethics in the Obama White House said he would file a defense of Comey in response to Trump's lawyer's plans.

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At one point he practically dared Trump to release any recordings of their conversations, a prospect the president once alluded to in a tweet.

But it was a Democrat, Sen.

Comey was sacked on May 9.

Discussing the meeting in which Comey says Trump asked him to back off Flynn, Democratic Sen. "President, this is wrong, '?"

"That's a great question", Comey said. "Maybe if I were stronger I would have". I was supposed to take her to dinner that night, ' Comey added.

The high profile hearing is scheduled to find out the circumstances under which Comey was sacked and if Trump had interfered with FBI investigations.

The president was likely alluding to Comey's name getting dragged through the mud, over decisions he made pertaining to Hillary Clinton's email investigation. She's argued she was on track to a victory when Comey's move raised fresh doubts about her.

"I can definitively say the president is not a liar, and I think it's frankly insulting that question would be asked", spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Many Democrats blame Comey for Clinton's loss, leading Trump to apparently believe they would applaud him for firing Comey last month.

From Capitol Hill to San Francisco's Castro district, Comey's appearance attracted television "watch parties" beckoning politics buffs to taverns, restaurants and living rooms to view an event some likened to the "Super Bowl of Washington".


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