James Comey says Trump reasons for firing were ‘lies’

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FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2016, file photo, then-FBI Director James Comey, testifies before a House Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee budget hearing about the Federal Bureau of Investigation's FY 2017 budget, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Comey will testify that President Donald Trump sought his "loyalty" and asked what could be done to "lift the cloud" of investigation shadowing his White House, according to prepared remarks released ahead of his appearance on Capitol Hill on June 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

– The Washington Times – Updated: 10:36 a.m. on Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fired FBI Director James B. Comey said Thursday he was never asked to stop the bureau’s probe into Russian meddling into last year’s election, flatly refuting accusations Democrats have lobbed at the White House.

But he said he found “very disturbing” a request by President Trump to forgo investigating former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and said he flatly rejects Mr. Trump’s stated reasons for his firing.

“Although the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me and the more importantly the FBI — by saying the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader,” Mr. Comey said. “Those were lies plain and simple.”

Mr. Comey was testifying to the Senate intelligence committee in one of the most-anticipated political showdowns in modern American politics.

In prepared written testimony released Wednesday Mr. Comey detailed a number of his interactions with Mr. Trump, saying that several one-on-one conversations were troubling. He was so disturbed by his interactions that he began to take copious notes to record the conversations — a step he said he never took with former President Obama.

He said Mr. Trump asked for “loyalty,” seemed to be trying to create a “patronage relationship” and did in fact ask for dropping the investigation into Mr. Flynn.

But Mr. Comey declined to say whether he considered the request an obstruction of justice, saying only that he found it “very disturbing.”


Source : The Washington Times

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