10152019What's Hot:

Trump says Comey said things that ‘just weren’t true’ in Senate testimony

The president suggested that he would be willing to submit to an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Updated

President Donald Trump on Friday accused James Comey of lying under oath, telling reporters that the fired director of the FBI said things that “just weren’t true” in his testimony Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“We were very, very happy, and, frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things he said just weren’t true,” Trump said in a joint Rose Garden news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

Story Continued Below

Trump denied that he pressured Comey to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The president, however, stopped short of saying Comey lied when the question was posed directly to him.

“Well, I didn’t say that. I mean, I will tell you I didn’t say that,” he said of the Flynn claim. “And there’d be nothing wrong if I did say it, according to everybody that I’ve read today, but I did not say that.”

In response to a question about whether he would repeat that claim under oath, Trump indicated he would “100 percent” testify — quickly adding that he “would be glad to tell” special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director overseeing the bureau’s probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 campaign, “what I just told you.”

“I hardly know the man,” Trump said of Comey, who in written testimony said he spoke to or met with the president on nine separate occasions. “I’m not gonna say, ‘I want you to pledge allegiance.’”

“Who would do that? Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath?” Trump added. “I mean, think of it. I hardly know the man. It doesn’t make sense. No, I didn’t say that, and I didn’t say the other.”

Trump claimed “total and complete vindication” in a tweet Friday morning that called Comey a “leaker” and suggested he made “so many false statements and lies” in Thursday’s testimony.

Comey told the Senate panel that he shared with a friend the content of a memo detailing a conversation with the president. The friend passed on the memo to The New York Times, which Comey hoped would compel the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to take over the Russia investigation. The idea, Comey said, came to him a few days after the president’s ominous tweet indicating that “tapes” of their conversations may exist.

A person close to the president’s outside legal team earlier Friday confirmed plans to file a complaint next week with the Justice Department inspector general over Comey’s decision to share the contents of the memos.

Comey had accused the Trump administration of lying about why he was abruptly fired last month and told lawmakers the president had encouraged him to drop an investigation into Flynn, requested his loyalty and fired him “because of the Russia investigation.”

Asked about possible recordings of his conversations with Comey, the president rejected the notion that he had hinted of their existence.

“I’m not hinting anything. I’ll tell you about it over a very short period of time,” he said. He added moments later to a shouted question about whether the tapes exist: “Oh, you’re gonna be very disappointed when you hear the answer. Don’t worry.” It’s unclear if he was being facetious.

Marc Kasowitz, the president’s outside counsel, had said in a statement Thursday that Trump’s legal team would “leave it up to the appropriate authorities to determine” whether Comey’s disclosure “should be investigated with all those others being investigated.”

But the president himself found solace in Comey’s testimony. “No collusion, no obstruction, he’s a leaker,” Trump gleaned from the hearing. “Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction.”

“That was an excuse by the Democrats who lost an election that some people think they shouldn’t have lost because it’s almost impossible for the Democrats to lose the Electoral College, as you know,” Trump said. “You have to run up the whole East Coast and you have to win everything as a Republican, and that’s just what we did. So it was just an excuse.”

Missing out on the latest scoops? Sign up for POLITICO Playbook and get the latest news, every morning — in your inbox.

Source: POLITICO – TOP Stories

comments powered by HyperComments

More on the topic