News ID: 194404
Published: 0647 GMT June 09, 2017

Trump dismisses ex-FBI director Comey as 'leaker'

Trump dismisses ex-FBI director Comey as 'leaker'

US President Donald Trump called James Comey a "leaker" on Friday, following explosive testimony by the fired FBI director, in which he accused Trump in a US Senate hearing of lying and trying to quash an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication ... and WOW, Comey is a leaker!" Trump tweeted in his first comments since Comey appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The Republican president stopped short of saying that Comey lied under oath at the hearing, which occurred a month after Trump fired him on May 9.

In his public testimony, Comey did not disclose any links between Trump advisers and alleged Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election. Russia has denied such interference. The White House has denied collusion with Moscow.

In the highly anticipated hearing, Comey delivered a scathing indictment of his former boss, accusing him of trying to block the Flynn probe and saying the White House defamed him and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in trying to explain his dismissal.

He told the Senate panel he took meticulous notes of each meeting or conversation he had with Trump because "I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document."

Comey said he shared an unclassified memo of their conversation about Flynn because he hoped it would lead to the appointment of a special counsel.

Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, was appointed as special counsel the week after Comey's firing, which set off a political firestorm and raised suspicions among Democrats and others that the White House was trying to blunt the FBI probe.

Comey would not say whether he thought Trump tried to obstruct justice, leaving that determination to Mueller.

"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. "I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning."

Thursday’s hearing brought Washington and other parts of the country to a standstill as Americans sat glued to their screens, harkening to the Watergate congressional hearings that held the nation rapt some four decades earlier.

In his opening statement, Comey somberly accused the Trump administration of spreading “lies, plain and simple” in the aftermath of his abrupt ouster, declaring that the administration “chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI” by claiming the bureau was in disorder.



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