Trump accuses ex-FBI director Comey of cowardice over 'leaks'

Comey had been leading an FBI investigation into several Trump aides and their contacts with the Russian government - which United States intelligence agencies say tried to tilt the 2016 election in Trump's favor - before being fired.

Trump did not make clear what he had read.

For a moment on Thursday, Washington, D.C. and parts of the USA sat rapt as Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating alleged Russian ties to Trump's presidential campaign. During his campaign, Trump often said it was time to "drain the swamp" in Washington of corrupt and self-dealing insiders.

"Because it's nearly impossible for the Democrats to lose the Electoral College".

Trump's tweet in May that Comey had "better hope that there are no "tapes" drove Comey to instruct a good friend, a Columbia University law professor, to leak information on his memos of his conversations with the president to the media, Comey said.

"Well, I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future", he said, later adding that he was "not hinting anything" about whether there were any tape-recorded conversations.

"What we're talking about is a sitting president of the United States and whether the administration took an action to fire the FBI director in a historic way because of a desire to take the pressure off the Russian Federation investigation", he told CNN.


Comey said he kept memos on his conversations with Trump - but hadn't with two previous presidents or other top Justice Department officials - because he "was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting".

"I don't think it's for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct", Comey testified.

Trump also labeled Comey a "leaker", referencing Comey's decision to get a friend to share the contents of memos about his conversations with Trump to the press, a revelation the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director shared on Thursday during with the Senate Intelligence Committee. Yet, even with all this Russian Federation scandal swirling around the White House, Sessions didn't update the record on his false testimony to a Senate panel concerning his own interactions with Kislyak until March 6, nearly two months after giving sworn testimony otherwise. "I was sacked in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russian Federation investigation was being conducted".

During a discussion of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Comey disclosed that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, an Obama administration appointee, instructed him to refer to the issue as a "matter", not an "investigation". Comey's testimony is certain to dominate the question-and-answer session.

But Comey did not provide any proverbial smoking gun.

"I called on him to do this yesterday", Murphy tweeted after Trump's press conference.

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